Vin Diesel’s emotional tribute to Paul Walker during ‘Furious 7’ screening

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Actor Vin Diesel speaks at his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony on Aug. 26, 2013. (Chris Audick/CNN)

(CNN) — Vin Diesel had some special words about his late friend Paul Walker at an advance screening of “Furious 7.”

The actor spoke told the Los Angeles audience on Monday that “this was a very very personal and important film for us.”

“This was a labor of love. It was in some ways the hardest movie I ever had to do,” Diesel said. “Because the relationships that you see on film are so real. When the tragedy happened, I lost my best friend. I lost my brother.”

Walker, 40, was killed in a car crash in November 2013 in Southern California while taking a few days off from filming the seventh “Fast and Furious” movie. The film was finished using previous footage and stand-ins including Walker’s two brothers.

The producers have said they don’t plan on killing Walker’s character off in the new movie.

“Furious 7” debuts in theaters on April 3.