Actor-singer Tyrese Gibson at The Act Dubai on Sunday December 30, 2013. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: Fast & Furious actor Tyrese Gibson confirmed on Sunday night that the Abu Dhabi shoot for Fast & Furious 7 will go ahead, starting January 2014.

Tyrese spoke to tabloid! on a red carpet in Dubai, where he is celebrating his birthday today.

After the film’s star, Paul Walker, died in a fiery car accident in November, it became unclear whether the film’s schedule would go forward as planned. Its release was pushed back from July 11, 2014 to April 10, 2015.

“Right at the top of the year, we’ll be here for Fast 7,” said the singer-actor just after midnight, on the red carpet of The Act nightclub at the Shangri-La Dubai, where he was celebrating his 35th birthday with a short acoustic set.

What scenes is he most looking forward to filming in the capital city? “All the fun stuff ... You’ll see.”

Gibson, who was seen sobbing at Walker’s crash site the day after the 40-year-old died, seemed introspective when speaking about him.

“At this point, it’s all about being inspired by Paul,” he shared. “I mean, he started the franchise, literally, one of my best friends ever, man.”

“Sometimes I find it hard to enjoy life because he’s not here, but me knowing him, he would want us to keep smiling, keep having fun. I’ve never seen him cry, I’ve never seen him sad. I’ve known him for 13 years, so you know, we gotta keep rocking. And we gotta keep this franchise alive. At this point, because it’s a multicultural film that has [had an impact] around the world, I know he would want us to continue doing this on his behalf.”

He said he couldn’t confirm rumours that Cody Walker, Paul’s brother, might star in a few scenes in the upcoming film.

“I can’t speak on that, But Cody is my boy.”

Gibson shared plans to stay in Dubai long enough to celebrate the New Year, expressing excitement over the city’s attempt to break the world record for largest firework display on The Palm on Tuesday night.

In preparation for his visit, he watched ten documentaries about the city, and said that he wants to see it through the eyes of the locals.

“I’d be honoured to meet Shaikh Mohammad [Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai],” he added. “I wanna meet his sons, his daughter — everybody.”

As for his New Year’s resolution, it’s just as down-to-earth as the smiling star himself seems to be.

“I just want to continue to stay humble and understand that my purpose for being here is much bigger than me. Just wanna do God’s work and try and inspire and motivate the world.”