Vin Diesel shares the tragic reason why he takes stunts so seriously

Vin Diesel is no stranger to stunts thanks to the high-octane Fast & Furious franchise and his other action-packed films, and the actor says he takes the safety surrounding those sequences very seriously.

While promoting his latest film, The Last Witch Hunter, Diesel told Entertainment Tonight the death of a stunt double on the set of one of his 2002 film xXx made him even more focused on preparations and rehearsal for those scenes.

“There was a bad experience early on, where we lost one of the stunt guys; a guy named Harry O’Connor, who was a great guy, on xXx,” he said.

According to ET, O’Connor was killed when he hit a bridge at high speed during a rappelling stunt.

“That was a big eye opener for me and that probably more than anything has made me that focused on safety and rehearsal,” Diesel said. “I probably take it — take the rehearsal of action sequences and choreography — that much more serious because of it.”

Diesel stars in The Last Witch Hunter as an 800-year-old immortal tasked with protecting humanity from evil supernatural beings.    

“He is the most hardened and deadliest soldier due to his immortality,” he told EW of the film. “We assume the immortality is a gift, but we learn from understanding his world that there is a certain pain that he has been harboring for so long and there’s a certain isolation that the character’s had to live with.”

The film opens in theaters on Oct. 23. Head to ET for more from his interview.