If you want to talk family, you know where to go: Fast & Furious.
As part of EW’s F9 digital cover story with Vin Diesel and John Cena, we asked the men behind street racer-turned-world saver Dominic Toretto and his long lost superspy brother, Jakob Toretto, to share the rules to being a Toretto.
Yes, they love a family barbecue, a Corona, and winning, no matter if it’s by an inch or a mile, but in the end, Diesel believes onl
‘I don’t think our family needs 10 rules,” declares the Fast patriarch in the video above. “I think our family needs one rule: Never turn your back on family — even when they do.”
The idea to introduce Jakob came from director Justin Lin, a concept that Diesel was immediately intrigued by. “Even the person that is the spokesman for brotherhood could have a broken brotherhood in the past,” he recalls thinking.
And the casting of Cena came courtesy of Diesel’s Fast brother, Paul Walker, his late friend and costar who died in a car crash in 2013 on a break from filming Furious 7. Instantly upon meeting Cena for the first time, Diesel felt Walker’s presence, which made for an easy decision.
“I didn’t really think about it that much, because I don’t know if anyone will ever believe me, but I literally just, for some reason, felt like Paul had sent him,” says Diesel of “Pablo,” who served as the inspiration for Diesel naming his daughter Pauline. “There’s no bigger message than that. And I didn’t think about it for a second, I didn’t ask [Cena] to read anything, I didn’t need to look at anything. I just told him it was going to be super, super challenging, and felt like I had to warn him what he was walking into. I had no other way to explain it. If you go back to that day and you read that post, I said, ‘Thanks, Pablo,’ because, like always, he had a way of removing my anxiety.”
For Cena, who believes Jakob’s smoothness and planning makes him a “great polar opposite to Dom,” the weight of expectations and the Toretto name were put on his brawny shoulders. And he kept his cool for the most part, that is except for when he found himself opposite Diesel for the first brother showdown.
“Think of the thing you’re most passionate about — the show or the form of entertainment, music, whatever. And then you come face-to-face with the pinnacle of that [thing] you are passionate about, and you are given a relic that defines that pinnacle, and you are treated as equals,” says Cena of donning the signature Toretto necklace. “I always compare everything to WWE, and that would be like face-to-face with the Rock. There’s no denying that Dom Toretto is an iconic character and that was really special. That’s a main event at WrestleMania.”
F9 drives into theaters on June 25.
To listen, subscribe to EW’s BINGE: The Fast Saga feed via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also subscribe to EW’s YouTube page to catch all the video interviews, and stay tuned to EW.com for even more Fast coverage, including this week’s episode with Nathalie Emmanuel talking The Fate of the Furious.