My beautiful dark twisted action flick

On February 1, 2015, during Super Bowl XLIX, one of the most dramatic nights in sports, our attention was hijacked for a long 60 seconds. After Left Shark flourished and the Seattle Seahawks plummeted (the one-yard line!), there was that single minute during a commercial break that still stuck with you. When the intense, insane trailer for “Furious 7″ took over your idiot box, it probably evoked some colorful language one way or another.

Maybe the word “Acme” came to mind, for the way a bus hurls itself off a cliff like a Wile E. Coyote cartoon clip, and cars plunge from a freight plane like anvils with parachutes. Or perhaps “unreal,” for how Vin Diesel escapes gunfire by driving a luxury supercar from the upper level of one skyscraper into another, leaping from his red Lykan HyperSport onto the building floor one millisecond before his whip shatters a second glass wall and free falls towards the Earth below. Or how about “costly,” the trailer for the film—shot partially in Dubai—looking like every cent of the reported $250 million spent on production.

But spend a day speaking with the movie’s stars about the latest chapter in The Fast & The Furious franchise and one word resonates most: “sacred.” The emotions here today in Stage 37 at Universal Studio Hollywood are like a tight ball of rubber bands, packing in anticipation and pride and grief and excitement, each alternatively revealing itself. It’s as if the actors left a piece of themselves on the screen, the real-life death of series cornerstone Paul Walker shadowing the senseless stunts and military guns. (Walker, who plays Brian O’Connor in the series, died in a car accident on November 30, 2013, shortly before finishing production on Furious 7).

Tyrese probably captured the sentiment best, basically reciting Webster’s take on “bittersweet”: “I guess we’re trying to find a happy medium—you don’t want to come off too happy, too excited. Because we know what happened to our brother. But at the same time, you are excited because the overall movie, including Paul, is the best one.”

The leader of this big-screen brotherhood is Vin Diesel, who has watched the global blockbuster zip from zero to 100, at a speedy but totally controlled pace. Since 2001’s The Fast & The Furious, he’s been one of the backbones of the ever-unfolding story, playing on-screen speed demon Dominic Toretto while serving as producer on the latter four films.

Sporting a black muscle shirt (because duh the arms say so), the 47-year-old actor sat down with VIBE to retrace his history with The Fast & The Furious. He shares in his own words what first drew him to the story, how each movie has gotten more epic, and why Furious 7 will go down as one of the greatest films in history.

Read more at Vibe.