After the sudden death of Paul Walker, Vin Diesel said "Fast & Furious 7" became the most challenging project of his career to date.
"It was, needless to say, the hardest movie I've ever done," Vin told Access Hollywood's Liz Hernandez at the junket for his latest movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy." "I remember when the tragedy happened, my mother said to me, 'It's not fair that you have to mourn in front of the world.'
"What's even harder is to mourn and simultaneously that the person is next to you, so every time you turn to whoever's sitting in that chair you see not Paul," he said.
The 47-year-old star said finishing the film with other actors filling in for his late co-star/friend was strange, but did help the cast gain a sense of closure – and made for an amazing final product.
"It's very, very weird," he said. "The good thing is, because we took all the time, the movie is a true testament to everyone coming together and wanting to honor both the saga and our brother, and there's something very beautiful about that.
"I think 'Fast 7' wins Best Picture, whether we want to or not!" he added.
Vin is also excited about his newest role as Groot in "Guardians" – a character he found therapeutic in the wake of Paul's tragic death.
"I'm really fortunate that I have both of these movies and there's something very, very healing about playing a character like Groot that celebrates life after a tragedy like the one that happened," he said.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" hits theaters on August 1. "Fast 7" is due out on April 3, 2015.
-- Erin O'Sullivan