London's Leicester Square was road-blocked as the stars of Fast and Furious raced into town for the UK premiere of the fourth installment of the The Fast and The Furious franchise (don't confuse the franchise with this instalment).
Warming up the crowd were some scantily clad flag girls in the most miniscule of hot-pants, in stark contrast to the refinement of the gorgeous female stars of the film - Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez - both dressed angelically in light floaty gowns with just a hint of hard edge from the leather jackets keeping them warm for the walk.
Vin Diesel arrived in style, looking sharp in a grey suit and wearing shades in defiance of the dimming light. Late despite his race car ride, he passed Empire by, chosing to pose for the cameras with the strategically placed flag-wavers before entering the cinema. *
But the ardently unpedestrian Paul Walker didn't let the side down, and posited some fighting talk when asked who would win in a real drive-off between himself and his muscle-bound co-star: "Me. By far... How about this: I challenged Vin and invited him to the race track so many times and he will not come. Why? Because when we made the first movie, he didn't even know how to drive stick! I spend a lot of time at the race track. Vin is amateur, at best. I'm smokin'!"
Director Justin Lin, who admitted that the crew totalled at least 100 cars in the making of the movie, let us in on what it took to bring the four stars back to the fold : "It was not easy, and I didn't want it to be easy, because I know that these characters are very precious to them and played a big part in their careers. I think that the only way for us to do this was to do something worthy, to give them a reason to come back."
He also added that although all four may have been dubious at the outset, Diesel put up the most fight:"They were all difficult to convince in their own unique way. Vin was probably the most - because Dom's sort of bigger than life, so where do you go? So that was a good exercise for me to figure that out." And F&F fans will be very glad that he did.
And as the lights went down, and the skimpy-shorted models slowly turned to icicles, the flags fell and they were off to see the film.
*Fear not. If you are furious at the lack of Vin Diesel, then you can check out Empire's Fast & Furious video interview with the big man early next week.