May 6, 2013 at 9:39 AM ET
Who could have imagined when "The Fast and the Furious" premiered in 2001 that some 12 years later it would be a $1.5 billion worldwide franchise with a sixth entry about to be released? But perhaps in retrospect it isn't that surprising -- the franchise has a solid regular cast and now includes 'round-the-world exotic locations and, of course, those flashy fast cars.
How do they make it work after all these years? Cast members Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges all joined TODAY's Natalie Morales in London (where "Fast and Furious 6" was filmed) on Monday for a quick chat, and as they say, they trace their success directly back to the fans.
"We can go as far as the fans demanding us to keep making movies," said Diesel. "We have such a strong fan base. They love the action, but they love our cast. The action wouldn't be anything without the cast."
And this time around, there's a little addition to cast: A new baby for characters Brian (Walker) and Mia (Brewster).
"We've earned it," said Walker. "If you were to take each one of us individually and we just had this amazing encounter on the street, I don’t think this would happen. But we’ve been forced together more or less now for a long time and as a result, cool things have happened. ... This was just the next evolution of it. it was baby time."
"The Fast and the Furious 6" opens in theaters on May 24.