“Death was a huge theme last year,” Diesel told The Associated Press. “There was something therapeutic about playing this role after going through [Walker’s death].”
In the film, Diesel plays a warrior cursed with immortality who has long outlived his beloved wife and child. He must then stop the resurrection of the Witch Queen, the very one who cursed him.
“The idea that someone immortal could be so melancholy; 2014 was a tough year for me in some ways — a lot of ways,” he said. “Playing a character that was masking his sorrow, his loss, was very appropriate for the time, because that’s what I was doing in real life with the post-‘Furious 7.'”
Walker died in Nov. 2013 in a car accident during a break in the filming for “Furious 7.” As Walker had already shot most his scenes for the film, the script was rewritten to include the retirement of his character, Brian O’Conner. Diesel said he believes Walker would be happy with the direction the franchise is taking.
“He took a lot of pride in this franchise and he’d be smiling down at the idea of us actually doing what we talked about, which is going to the 10th chapter,” he said.
“The Last Witch Hunter” opens in theaters on Oct. 23.