Family comes first! Vin Diesel and goddaughter Meadow Walker had a close bond even before Paul Walker’s death in 2013 — and they’ve remained a tight-knit duo since his passing.
Diesel formed a friendship with Paul when they both starred in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. The men went on to play BFFs Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner, respectively, in four more Fast and Furious films before Paul was killed in a single-vehicle car crash at the age of 40.
The She’s All That actor made his final appearance in the franchise in 2015’s Furious 7, which was in the middle of production at the time of his death.
Diesel, on the other hand, is still still a big part of the Fast family — and teased in June 2021 that Meadow might make a cameo in Fast 10, which is set to hit theaters in 2023.
The xXx actor, who has known Meadow since she was a little girl, has stepped in as a father figure in Paul’s absence. His partner, Paloma Jiménez, and their three children — Hania, Vincent and Pauline (who is named after Paul) — have also become part of Meadow’s inner circle.
“[Meadow] counts Vin and his kids as family and will talk to them on days she’s struggling, and she has their backs too,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly in June 2021.
The model, who was only 15 when her dad died, has continued to keep his memory alive with the help of Diesel and other close family friends.
“Meadow is so proud of her dad and goes out of her way to respond to people who send letters or express their love of him and his work,” the insider added. “She posts tributes to him on social media, keeps in touch with the people who were important in his life and generally acts on the advice he gave her whilst he was still alive.”
Diesel told Extra in June 2021 that Meadow even “takes good care” of him. The Bloodshot star explained that he feels “very protective” of Meadow and her father’s legacy within the racing franchise.
“The whole point of the Fast and Furious saga is the idea that brotherhood can be created by bond and not necessarily blood,” Diesel underscored at the time. “So much of Fast and Furious is celebrated by brotherhood that’s eternal. I never in a million years imagined 21 years ago that, beyond the script and the film, there would be this other guiding light, this other driving force that propels you to be as passionate as you can and manifest in the movie. … We’re all mortals, but love is immortal.”
Scroll down to see how Diesel has maintained a strong bond with Meadow over the years:
Leaning on Each Other
Diesel reflected on the heartbreak of living without Paul three years after his death during an appearance at Brazil Comic Con in December 2016. “We’ve felt the loss. The last three years have been some of the hardest of my life because of losing my brother like that,” he told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “I’d been to Brazil two times before, and both times that I’ve been here, I’ve always been with my brother, Pablo.”
The California native explained that his costars and goddaughter’s messages while traveling to Brazil for the first time without Paul were what made it easier to deal with. “It was a lot of tissues, and it was a hard morning for me yesterday because I was here,” he continued. “But the irony is the whole cast reached out, and his daughter, Meadow, reached out, and all that stuff helps you get through it.”
“I could say that I am so proud of the person you are becoming … but the truth is I have always been proud of you,” the actor wrote via Instagram in November 2019 in celebration of Meadow’s birthday. “I know it’s your 21st and you wanted to go big in Japan, but the family has a cake waiting for you when you get home, so hurry. Love you kid. Uncle Vin.”
The model was all smiles as she hung out with Diesel’s three children in June 2020. “Family, forever,” she captioned the snap via Instagram.
“Family <3,” Meadow captioned an Instagram snap in May 2021. The black-and-white photo showed Diesel hugging his goddaughter and his eldest daughter, Hania.
Father’s Day Tribute
“She’s the first person on Father’s Day to wish me Happy Father’s Day. To see her with my children is one of the most beautiful things,” Diesel told Extra in June 2021 of his goddaughter. “There are moments when I see her playing with [my daughter] Pauline and it hits me so deep because I can only imagine what my brother [Paul] sees when he sees that.”
Wedding Day Wing Man
Us confirmed that the Guardians of the Galaxy actor walked Meadow down the aisle in place of her late father when she married Louis Thornton-Allan in October 2021. Fast and Furious’ Jordana Brewster was also in attendance.