I was incredibly saddened to hear about Paul Walker‘s untimely passing. The Californian actor best known for his role as Brian O’Conner in the Fast & Furious franchise died in a car crash yesterday in Valencia, Santa Clarita (California). He is survived by his fifteen year old daughter Meadow and I would just like to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to her, his family and the people who loved him.
Walker got his first big break in the 1999 film Varsity Blues, but then became best known for his co-staring lead role in the Fast & Furious film series. To memory he’s the only leading actor to appear in all of those films (except for ‘Tokyo Drift’) and certainly the most memorable character along with Vin Diesel’s portrayal of the now iconic Dominic “Dom” Toretto. Aside from this I’ll admit that I haven’t seen many other of his films aside from Pleasantville, Joy Ride and The Death and Life of Bobby Z.
I won’t try to exaggerate or over romanticize my love for Paul Walker, he clearly wasn’t the best of actors, but what everyone loved him for was his likable and naturally relatable screen persona. Even if most of us thought the Fast & Furious franchise could go on forever, it looks like after the seventh film, if they decide to go on, things just won’t be the same. We won’t see our blond, blue-eyed friend smiling as he’s holding a Corona on the big screen ever again. We won’t see him endlessly shifting gears, pressing that NOS button, hitting that gas pedal as if his life depended on it. But most of all though it’s also the end of one of my favorite friendships in a film series ever!
I don’t know how future generations will look at the Fast & Furious series, but I can tell you the impact they had on me as a person and a film-goer. I grew up on these movies. I loved watching those movies with my friends, because they are about friendship and hanging out with the people you love. These movies, regardless of what critics say, got me into cinema. These are some of the first films I remember watching and re-watching, going to to the theater and being excited, eagerly anticipating their release. They were a piece of happiness, a small window of time that existed outside of the real of everyday life. A better, stylized and to a certain degree idealized world where airplane runways never ended and friends would do crazy shit for each other just because. And if those aren’t timeless ideals, then I don’t know what is.
Rest in Peace, Paul William Walker IV. Forever in our hearts and hopefully watching us from up there in the clouds. You will be sorely missed!