Vin Diesel says a part of him died with Paul Walker.

The actors worked on the Fast & Furious franchise together before 40-year-old Paul's tragic death, following a car accident in November last year.

Vin, 47, was very close to the late star and says the path of grief has been tough on him.

"Paul's death ripped out a piece of my heart. A part of me went with him," the actor told German newspaper Bild.

"You realise you only have a limited amount of time here on earth. I now live more consciously and more carefully and use every day to hold my nearest and dearest close and tell them I love them.

"I'm also more likely to ask for a stuntman. Before, I wouldn't have given it a second thought."

The star and his model girlfriend Paloma Jimenez have two children - Hania and Vincent - together. It's wanting to protect his loved ones that makes him more conscious of how precious life is.

"I certainly am scared of death, but not for selfish reasons. It's more that I think my family still need me," he said.

"I drive a lot more carefully. I'm no longer the first one over that crossing. It's little things like that which let me know what a fragile flower life is."

Before his death, Paul was filming Fast & Furious 7 with Vin and the rest of the cast. The film has a 2015 release date and was completed using his brothers Caleb and Cody as body doubles.

"I decided to celebrate Paul's life. Everyone gave their all to make him proud. The film is our gift to him," he said.