Vin Diesel’s Advice to His Former Self on the ‘Fast & Furious’ Franchise: ‘Walking Away Doesn’t Help’

Over a decade ago, Vin Diesel sped into theaters with The Fast and The Furious, an action-filled film about street racing subculture. But when the franchise accelerated into another installment, Diesel stepped on the breaks.

But now looking back, as Fast & Furious 6 earns early raves in theaters, the multihyphenate actor-producer-screenwriter regrets that decision.

“I would’ve said, ‘Don’t walk away from it just because the script sucked in 2 Fast 2 Furious because there’s an obligation to the audience to fight, no matter what, to make that film as good as possible,'” Diesel told Celebuzz’s Cory Lopez. “Just walking away doesn’t help that saga at all. I might have had a little bit more patience or belief in the long-term of it.”

“But yet, we wouldn’t be here if I didn’t do that,” he continued. “That was a very important stage and a very important statement to the studio that I wouldn’t be involved with the franchise if it was simply a version of the old style of sequenced movies, where you make a new movie, which is the same as the old movie, you put the brand up there, and you sell it off the brand. I didn’t want to ever sell Fast & Furious off of the brand.”

But after a brief break, Diesel got back in the driver’s seat with the third film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. But this time, he got involved in the pre-production process.

“I always wanted to sell Fast & Furious off the story, and the continuation of story. So you can see, before I produced it, one, two and three are all fragmented,” he explained. “And then once they asked me to do the cameo in Tokyo Drift, they said, ‘We know you’ve said no to all the scripts we’ve given you.’ Then they called my bluff and said, ‘Why don’t you produce the scripts?’ And I said, ‘OK. Let’s really produce them with some heart and some integrity in the continuing storyline.”

It’s with that mindset that Diesel brought back Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz, who was assumed dead at the end of the fourthfilm. But after much petitioning from Fast fans, Rodriguez returns in the latest installment, giving Diesel a chance to re-team with a close confidant.

“We have a very, very strong relationship,” he said of Rodriguez. “We’ve been friends for so long, and there’s so much trust. I usually invite her in to the writing phase — that’s how much I respect her creativity and her brain…. She’s dedicated in a real refreshing way, in a way that you don’t always see. She’s willing to do anything to make the film special.”

Catch Fast & Furious 6 in theaters now.