The cast and crew of the "Fast & Furious" films are more than friends, they're family.
So when Paul Walker died in a tragic car crash midway through filming of "Furious 7," it was a terrible blow to all involved. They not only lost a costar, they lost a brother. But the filmmakers managed to do the impossible -- they finished the movie.
Thanks to some CGI magic and the help of Caleb and Cody Walker, who hopped onboard as body doubles for their late brother, "Furious 7" is a love letter to Paul ... and a great "F&F" film all around.
Joining Dom Torreto's gang this time is Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays a hacker everyone wants to get their hands on. The "Game of Thrones" alum -- she plays Khaleesi's right-hand woman Missandei -- says working with Paul was a dream come true, and having his brothers on set after his death was cathartic for all involved.
toofab's Brian Particelli sat down with Nathalie at the film's junket earlier this month, where she opened up about joining the "Fast" family, shared her favorite memory of Walker and revealed which "Game of Thrones" costar she still hasn't met. Check out the full interview below!
toofab: This group seems like such a close-knit family, what was it like joining the fold?
Nathalie: It's so wonderful, I've been so warmly embraced by everybody on this crew and cast. Everyone was so excited and let me know how excited they were to have me. That was really sweet, they definitely didn't have to do that. I'm hired to do a job, I come and do the job, but to have people be so warm, it was such a blessing.
toofab: And what's it like when you get that call, that your next job will be 'Fast & Furious 7'?
Nathalie: It was an interesting one. It was about 2:00 in the morning in London when I got that phone call and I didn't quite believe it. I didn't quite register what was being said for a good 30 seconds. Then I just screamed. I was at my mom's that weekend, it was a Friday night, then I woke an entire house just screaming.
toofab: Can you talk about what goes into the big action sequences in a film like this?
Nathalie: It was amazing. It was very tough at times, you know physically. I just wanted to do as much as I could. Obviously, there's only so much they can let me do for safety reasons. My stunt double was very fantastic. When I was on set, she was telling me 'Slow down, I know you are excited, but tell me if your hurt.' I'm like 'No, I'm fine, let's do another one!' She was so sweet and made sure I was cool. I really enjoyed it, but some of the stunts were really hard on the body.
toofab: How familiar were you with the franchise before you got the role?
Nathalie: When I saw the first one, I saw it at a friends house and I loved it. I obviously fell in love with Paul Walker, then Michelle was like the coolest chick I've seen in my life ever. Then when she did the film 'Girlfight,' she was so badass. I think she was the girl I wanted to be like. I definitely am a bit of a tomboy and I love the strong character that she is. I didn't see the sequels, then when I got the role, I had this huge marathon and watched 1-6 back to back. I spent a weekend in bed with snacks.
toofab: This film really is a perfect tribute to Paul Walker (read our review here), what's one memory from set that you shared with him that fans would love to hear?
Nathalie: When we were shooting the scene when he rescues me, we had one night where we were shooting inside the bus and it was just the two of us as cast on set. I had to be really worked up, upset and panicky. He had to do this very close combat with Tony Jaa's character. He could hear me huffing and puffing with the sack on my head in the cage and he was getting worried about me. He said 'Oh, Nathalie we are going to get it right.' He's like, 'I feel bad, she hyperventilating!' He was really worried about me. That just shows the kind of person he was.
toofab: How was it having his brothers on set?
Nathalie: It was an incredible thing to have them. I only worked with Paul for only a few months, so I didn't get to know him as much as the other cast members because they had history. But it was enough to know how wonderful he was. Then I meet his brothers, who are just amazing, sweet people. And for me it was this silver lining in this unbelievably tragic and difficult situation. They really wanted to be involved and it was such a blessing. It helped me get to know more of Paul. They wanted to talk about Paul and asked me my experience with Paul, and I think it was a great comfort to everyone to have them there.
toofab: Now one quick 'Game of Thrones' question -- I know you guys just had the red carpet premiere, have you actually met the whole cast yet?
Nathalie: I think I have now. The show brings in new people all the time and then they leave. The only one I haven't met is Sean Bean, but I would love to meet him.