The 49-year-old actor stopped by Brazil’s Comic-Con on Thursday to promote the highly-anticipated xXx sequel, xXx: Return of Xander Cage. But his mind still with Walker.
“I’d been to Brazil two times before and both times that I’ve been here, I’ve always been with my brother, Pablo,” he told Entertainment Tonight, using his nickname for Walker. “Even if I talked on ET in Brazil or any talk show, any press or while we were filming in the favelas, it was Pablo and me.”
Diesel admitted to tearing up on the third anniversary of Walker’s death — but leaned on this Fast and the Furious family for support.
“It was a lot of tissues,” he said. “It was a hard morning for me yesterday because I was here. But the irony is the whole cast reached out and his daughter, Meadow, reached out and all that stuff helps you get through it.”
“We’ve felt the loss,” Diesel continued. “The last three years have been some of the hardest of my life because of losing my brother like that.”
Walker, who was 40, died in a car accident on Nov. 30, 2013, when the Porsche he was riding in crashed and exploded in Santa Clarita, California.
Earlier in the week, Diesel paid tribute to him on social media while addressing Fast 8.
“I have pledged to make Pablo proud,” he said of the film. “All love.”
He told ET that while his character Dom is in “the darkest place [he’s] ever been” in Fast 8, filming the xXx sequel helped bring some relief to the sadness.
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“Making this movie came after a very difficult time making Furious 7, and so never in my life did I need to do a movie where I could laugh and smile and enjoy myself more than right now, more than the time I made this movie,” he said. “I needed to do this movie and I’m so blessed that I had the opportunity to make a movie, not to have to do a brooding character, not to have to go to a dark place.”
“It was important for me, for my soul and for my family and for all the people that love me, for me to do xXx and for me to enjoy myself the way that I did,” he added.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage opens Jan. 20, 2017.