NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Tyrese Gibson attends the Urban World Film Festival in New York, New York on September 23, 2015. Credit: Raymond Hagans/SteedMedia

Tyrese Gibson has revealed how Paul Walker’s legacy lives on in the ever-popular Fast and Furious franchise.

The franchise’s most recent release, The Fate of the Furious, marks the first full film in the installment without Paul Walker, who died in 2013. Still, Gibson says that the late actor’s legacy continues to live on.

“Fans will see that we, as clever[ly] as we could, have the presence of Paul and make mention of our brother,” Gibson, recently told People Now of the film. “I think that at the end of the day, we’re just trying to do what we got to do to make [Paul], the family and all of the friends proud because the fans grew up with this man.”

As previously reported, Walker tragically died in a car crash, while taking a break from filming Furious 7. A message from the actor’s verified Twitter account read: “It’s with a heavy heart that we must confirm Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident.”

Gibson, who made his debut as Walker’s co-lead Roman Pearce in 2 Fast 2 Furious in 2003, reprises his role in the latest flick alongside Scott Eastwood. “A lot of people don’t know this, but Scott had been knowing Paul longer than most of us,” he added. “[He] and Paul were friends for over 20 years. So it was a very natural thing when the word got out that Scott was going to be joining us.

“We’re all about family and keeping it in the family — and it was a no-brainer.”

While, in many ways, Eastwood — Walker’s longtime friend — fills the void created by the late star’s absence, Gibson made it clear he was in no way, brought on board to replace him. “We told Scott that the worst thing he could do is try and be funny because we don’t want anyone to think or believe Scott came to replace Paul — far from it,” he says. “We said [to] play it straight, be serious, be intense, be the stickler cop-secret-service-type of agent, whatever your role is, that is irritated and annoyed by the fact that he even has to work with us to go on this mission. So he did a great job.”

The Fate of the Furious is in theaters now. Do you plan to see it? Sound off in the comment section below.

R. Hawkins

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