On Vin Diesel’s birthday, here’s a throwback to the time he called Deepika Padukone ‘the queen of the whole world’.

Actor Vin Diesel said the most effusive things about Deepika Padukone, when they were both promoting their film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, in early 2017. Deepika made her Hollywood debut with the action adventure.

On Diesel’s 53rd birthday on July 18, take a walk down memory lane and remind yourself of all the praise that Diesel had showered on Deepika, proving that he is just as ‘warm and generous’ as she said he was.

In an essay meant to accompany Deepika’s inclusion in Time magazine’s most influential list of 2018, Diesel had written, “When Deepika Padukone came in to read for one of the Fast and the Furious films, I knew instantly I was in the presence of someone very special. As soon as she entered the room, there was a synchronicity, a synergy, a chemistry—it promised great things to come. Her schedule didn’t work for that movie, but I never gave up. She was the first role we cast in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. She said, ‘I want to do this movie, but if I do, you have to come to India.’ Thank God I made that deal.”

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on

To IANS, while promoting the film, Diesel had said, “She is the queen and angel who is such a blessing in my life. She has a such a beautiful soul. To be a part of the magic that is made on-screen is a blessing of my life. There is no one like Deepika. Though her origin is Indian, she is the queen of the whole world. I saw her in Bajirao Mastani and she was mind blowing.”

Diesel came to India to promote the film, which also starred Toni Collette, Donnie Yen and others. xXx made $346 million worldwide, and a sequel is planned.

“I love her so much,” Diesel told CNN-News18. “We have so much natural chemistry together. All of my moments with her are beautiful… I loved every single moment… My love for her can’t be put in words… She’s so special. And I feel so blessed that I’m going to be a part of her introduction to the whole world. Because the next global superstar is coming from India.”

Diesel will return as Dominic Torretto in the ninth Fast & Furious film, slated for a 2021 release. He is also planning a fourth instalment of the xXx series, and a third in the Riddick franchise.