Paul Walker: A Talented Actor, a Speed Race Driver, a Lover of the Marine World, One of the World’s Most Beautiful Men, and Just a Great Father. Cinematography is a wonderful art that creates completely new fantastic worlds, heroes and teaches people to appreciate their life, beliefs and values. A great number of films become masterpieces, same as talented actors become incarnations of right, glory and self-sacrifice of human nature. It is a time-consuming and extremely laborious work for every actor to create a believable, perfect character who will impress the audience with ease. The person should be really talented, hard-working and dedicate his/her whole life to dramatic acting in order to create characters that cannot be forgotten and will live in the hearts of the moviegoers for decades. The bright example of such an artistic and gifted personality is world-famous actor Paul Walker. His roles in the movies are familiar to people of all nationalities and countries. His character in the Fast and Furious film franchise, Brian O’Conner, made Paul one of the greatest Hollywood film stars and brought him worldwide recognition. Each film with Paul Walker is a unique and wonderful creation, a world, which involves viewers and keeps them in thrill for the time of review and long afterwards.
Paul William Walker IV was born in California, the U.S.A. on September 12, 1973. Paul spent his childhood in San Fernando Valley area of L.A. country. There he was with his four siblings: Caleb, Coby, Ashley and Emmy Walker. Paul’s mother, Cheryl, was a fashion model while his father was a former sewer contractor. Paul was also a grandchild of famous boxer Irish William Walker III (Green 2).
Paul was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The boy attended the Village Christian School and was considered to be an obedient and a good student, who was extremely interested in the marine world. In 1991, Paul graduated from the high school and enrolled in California Community College to expand his interests in marine biology (Green 2). Although Paul’s interest and devotion to the marine world was broken by the role in the film “Pleasantville” in 1998, which was the first significant step to his acting career, the man always was interested in understanding the sea (Smith). Jacques Cousteau, the famous French oceanographer and conservationist, was Paul’s idol, and the actor multiple times cited this talented scholar and shared his dedication to the marine world (Smith). Later, in 2006, Paul Walker became a member of the Billfish Foundation. This organization is concerned about the fish population and state of the ocean all over the globe. Five years later, in 2011, Paul spent 11 days with a crew for National Geographic’s series Expedition Great White (Smith).
Apart from his love to biology, Paul really liked sport. Being a high school student, he started surfing. In one of his interview, Paul told: “Surfing soothes me. It’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful and awesome. The rest of the world disappears in my eyes when I’m on a wave.” The actor was also good at jiu-jitsu. He even earned a brown belt in this sport, and was trying to receive black one (Smith).
Paul Walker took active part in charity activities and projects, and in 2010 flew to Haiti to contribute to the reconstruction of the city that was ruined by the terrible earthquake (Smith). Later, Paul became a founder of Reach Out Worldwide organization. The principal aim of the organization was to provide quick help to devastated regions, bring basic necessities and medical assistance to the centers of disaster. In 2011, Paul Walker said that the organization attracted a lot of volunteers, since people wanted to help others, who are in trouble. In 2011, there were a great number of qualified doctors in the foundation, who had 25-30 years of experience and were ready to help others at any moment (Smith).
Paul’s first appearance on the TV screens was a role in pampers’ commercial when he was only 2. The boy also took part in some Coca-Cola advertisements. It was his mother who exposed the boy to show business life, and till 12, Paul had a great number of roles in commercials (Green 1).
In a few years, Paul was given some roles in sitcoms, and it was at that time that he gained his first popularity. TV shows “Charles in Charge”, “Different Strokes”, “Who’s the Boss” helped to reveal Paul’s great talent for acting. (Green 5) The main reason for starring in the TV series was the boy’s dream to earn enough money to be able to afford college tuition for becoming a marine biologist. But success and fame that accompanied the young boy in his acting career did not let him quit this craft. Thus, the world lost, probably, a great marine biologist, but found an extremely charismatic, talented and wonderful actor (Green 5).
In 1986, Paul got his first role in the Hollywood horror spoof “Monsters in the closet”. When Paul finally understood that his dream to become a biologist cannot be fulfilled, he took a role in the CBS soap “The Young and the Restless” (“Paul Walker – Biography”). In the next movie “Tammy and the T-Rex” the actor’s partner was Denise Richards. In 1998, Paul took a secondary role in the critically acclaimed “Pleasantville”, in which he transformed himself into the central target of Reese Witherspoon’s infatuation (“Paul Walker – Biography”).
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The popularity of the actor grew with his appearance in the She’s All That and Varsity Blues movies. But it was only a warm-up before the real star of Paul Walker shined in the film The Fast and The Furious featuring Vin Diesel. As Hillary Atkin claimed in her article “Walker’s in the ‘Fast’ lane to film stardom” at the time when the film appeared on the screens in the summer of 2001, the actor’s career instantly shifted into the high gear. Paul successfully and perfectly suited to the role of FBI agent who worked undercover in the world of dangerous, illegal underground racing gangs. Later Paul recollected his feelings before the opening night of the movie: “When Universal was thinking of moving the film to summer, I thought it would get smashed. It didn’t. Neal Moritz called me opening night screaming ‘It’s a cultural phenomenon!’” In 2003, Paul was offered to perform in the sequel of The Fast and The Furious. Beyond all doubt, the actor immediately signed a contract to star in the film. The second movie affirmed the talent of Paul Walker and enhanced his reputation as an actor in Hollywood (“Paul Walker – Biography”). In the sequel movie, the role of Paul Walker turned him into disgraced undercover cop who returned to crime fighting. In the second The Fast and the Furious film, Paul Walker played alone, since his former partner Vin Diesel called for an extremely high salary. It was a chance for Paul to demonstrate his driving skills and acting talent. Walker was an accomplished driver, and he managed to do his own stunts on the shoot. After the roles in The Fast and the Furious, Paul became easily recognized by his fans, and repeatedly appeared on the covers of the most successful and popular magazines (Atkin).
In the following years, Paul appeared in the drama “Noel” by Chazz Palminteri, performing alongside such film stars as Penelope Cruize, Susan Sarandon, and Alan Arkin. The adventure movie “Into the Blue” with Jessica Alba and Paul Walker in the leading roles appeared on the screens in 2005. In a year, the actor starred in the crime drama “Running scared” (“Paul Walker – Biography”).
Paul’s role in the “Eight below” was an Antarctic explorer who had to choose between his beloved dogs and his life. Although the audience was not accustomed to see the actor performing such dramatic characters, the movie was acclaimed by critics and fans and was considered to be a great success in the star’s career (“Paul Walker – Biography”). Paul Walker could not live without accepting challenges, which is why he tried to play out completely different types of personalities. The actor managed to suit to the role of criminal perfectly, pretending to be a deceased drug dealer in the action flick “The death and life of Bobby Z”, and to be convincing, when he played the American soldier of the Second World War in the movie “Flags of our fathers” by Clint Eastwood (“Paul Walker – Biography”).
In 2009, Paul pleased his fans by returning into the franchise The Fast and the Furious. The second and the third movies of The Fast and the Furious franchise became less commercially successful, since Vin Diesel was absent from Fast and Furious 2, and Paul Walker did not play in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The actor successfully performed in the following franchise films that attracted an impressive number of viewers all over the world and were highly profitable. Although Paul Walker did not expect such popularity and high rating of the franchise, he was extremely glad about that: “This thing’s just got out of control. The first one was made for $38m and I don’t know how much we’re spending now. I don’t want to know. There was something really cool about being the underdog. Now we are expected to hit, whereas before no one expected a damn thing” (Gilbey). Paul knew the original purposes of these movies, which he tried to preserve, and he was worried that commercial success of the franchise would change the real nature and idea of The Fast and the Furious. While shooting The Fast and the Furious 6 the actor was concerned that people would take the film too seriously. But the first aim of the film was just to create fine line and scenario, not to be pretentious. Paul thought that the viewers had to connect themselves to the whole family dynamic, the loyalty, and the bonds. The Fast and the Furious should raise simple themes and not to be the most complex thing in the world (Gilbey). The seventh film of The Fast and the Furious became the last and unfinished work of Paul Walker due to his sudden death (“Paul Walker – Biography”).
Performing in various Hollywood movies, Paul became well-known not only for his astounding acting talent but also for his attractive appearance. Paul described himself as a jealous kind in the relationships, but though admitted that in order to get rid of this negative personality feature, he learned to have self-control. His blue eyes, blonde hair, and godlike body put Paul on the top of lists of the most beautiful people in the world. A lot of female Hollywood celebrities could not resist the handsomeness and charismatic nature of Paul Walker (Green, 3).
Although there is no information about Paul’s pre-acting career love life, it is a well-known fact that he had love relationships with different Hollywood stars. On shoot of “Tammy and the T-Rex”, the actor met Dennis Richards, who was Paul’s leading lady-partner in the movie. The actor was 20 when he and Dennis began dating in 1993 (Green, 3). These were his first official relationships in Hollywood. In the same year, the couple decided to break up, since they were too different. Nevertheless, Dennis Richards and Paul Walker managed to remain good friends long after that (Green, 3).
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In 1998, Paul had relationships with Rebecca McBrain. Rebecca became pregnant and she born a daughter Meadow, but the actor refused to marry his girlfriend (Green, 4). As Paul said, he was not ready for the serious relationships, especially family life. Paul Walker supported Meadow financially, but the girl lived with Rebecca until 2011 (Green, 4) Paul and Rebecca managed to remain good partners and good parents to their daughter. In 2011, Meadow decided to get to know her father better and to spend more time with him, so she moved in with Paul to Los-Angeles. The actor tried to be an exceptional father for Meadow: he began to spend less time on work to became closer to the daughter (Green, 4).
On the set of the movie “Varsity Blues” Paul got acquainted with Bliss Ellis, who played as a film extra actor. Their relationships lasted for four years from 1999 till 2004 (Green, 4).
In 2001, the newspapers began to spread information about the love affair between Paul Walker and Jaime King. They were partners in the movie “She’s All That”, along with co-stars Rachel Lee Cook and Freddіe Prince Jr (Green, 4).
While the actor was in a relationship with Bliss Ellis, there were rumors about him secretly dating an actress Christina Milian, who was a former singer. It was said that their relationships ended after lasting for two years (Green, 4).
Paul Walker had really close affairs with a former model Adrianna Atwell, but they had never acknowledged themselves as a couple. Adrianna and Paul had known each other for twelve years, two of them they were extremely close up to the point where they even tried to date, but it did not work out. Adrianna admitted in the interview to the Daily Mail that she and Paul used to talk on the phone at least once a week, and the actor even promised to be with her on the funeral of her father in December 2013 (Green, 4).
In 2006, Paul Walker fell in love with Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell. Although there was a great difference in age between them, the actor and the sixteen-year-old girl had happy and long-lasting relationships. At that time, Jasmine was a college student preparing to become a step mother for Meadow. Paul and Jasmine lived together in his house in California together with the actor’s daughter (Green, 5).
Numerous love affairs of Paul proved that he had a passionate, impulsive and open character. Although none of his relationships lasted for a long time, he, definitely, had one a true love of his whole life. The object of this boundless and biggest love was his daughter, Meadow. She was born on the fourth of November in 1998. Since her parents, Rebecca McBrain and young actor Paul Walker, decided not to get married, the baby lived with her mother in Hawaii (Green, 6). Nevertheless, both Rebecca and Paul tried to be good parents for the girl and provide her with a happy childhood. The actor regularly spent time with Meadow: he picked her up from school almost every day, often took her camping, and taught girl to surf. In his interviews, Paul said that he wanted to show the girl the beauty of nature and cultivate in her love to the world. When Meadow moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to live together with Paul, the father and the daughter became even closer. The actor many times said that he preferred to listen to Meadow than to ask her questions, to be attentive to thoughts and ideas of the girl, and not to restrict her with regards to choices and decisions. In the interview to “People” magazine, the actor told that he “would just sit and drive quietly, and wait for Meadow to spill all the beans in her life” (Green, 6).
Family and close friends of the actor claimed that Paul was extremely in love with his daughter, and was even ready to quit the actor’s career to spend more time with her. Jessica Alba recollected in an interview that when Paul Walker took Meadow on the set of “Into the Blue,” the father and the daughter looked so balanced and natural together (Green, 6). The actor was obsessed with his wonderful daughter and in an interview to “Express News,” he stated: “I’m grateful I had her (daughter) at 25 and not 20 because, at 40 and 15, we’re matching up sweet! She’s been with her mom her whole life and she wants a relationship with her pops. It’s working out really well right now” (“Meadow Walker – Paul Walker’s Daughter”).
Paul Walker had spent his last Thanksgiving with Meadow and the closest friends just a week before his death. Then he had to go off to Atlanta to continue shooting in the seventh Fast and Furious (Green, 6).
That day, when the car accident happened, Paul Walker with his good friend, and a manager Roger Rodas decided to take new Roger’s car out for a spin. Although Rodas was a professional driver, he lost control and hit a tree (Green, 5).
Paul Walker and Roger Rodas were found dead in a burnt-out Porsche Carrera GT in Los Angeles. The investigation report states that the driver of the car “died of the multiple traumatic injuries, and Paul Walker died in a result of combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries” (Urquhart). Further examination showed that any traces of drugs or alcohol were not detected in their bodies. The investigation came to the conclusion that the main reason of the tragedy was “driving at unsafe speeds in an easterly direction” (Urquhart). The report of Los Angeles coroner states: “”For an unknown reason the driver lost control of the vehicle, which shortly after that partially spun around, and began to travel in a south-easterly direction. The vehicle then hit a sidewalk and the driver’s side struck a tree, and then a light post. The force of these collisions caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees and it continued to travel in an easterly direction. The passenger side of the vehicle then collided with a tree and burst into flames” (Urquhart).
Grief which was caused by a tragic death of the famous Hollywood actor was interfered and deepened by the advertisement The Cool Water by Davidoff. It was aired in Britain during the broadcast of Premier League football match featuring Paul Walker the next day after the fatal car accident. Family, friends and fans of the actor were offended by the fact that the Davidoff commercial with Paul Walker driving and diving was still shown after his death (Tate).
A sudden death of the actor managed to upset the whole world. Family, friends and colleagues of Paul Walker mourned their loss. Many celebrities and just people who loved Paul Walker expressed their grief on social media right after the car accident in California. The friend and co-star of the actor Tyrese Gibson wrote on her page in the social network: “My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real. Father God I pray that you send clarity over this, cause I just don’t understand. My heart hurts. it’s broken no one can convince me that this is real…. Prayer warriors, please pray real hard for his only child, his daughter and family… My God… My God… I can’t believe I’m writing this.” (Tate). Paul’s Fast and Furious co-partner and just a good friend Vin Diesel was devastated and broken by the news of the actor’s death. On his Twitter he wrote: “Brother, I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace” (Tate)
After the release of the seventh Fast and Furious, the movie received the Hollywood Blockbuster Award at the Hollywood Film Awards. The crew of the film, including Vin Diesel, took the stage to pay respects to their franchise co-star Paul Walker. Standing on the stage with Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Breuster, Vin Diesel declared: “We made a film that made the whole world cry with us. It’s impossible not to receive an award and not feel emotional. It is hard to celebrate Furious 7. I said I wasn’t going to talk about Paul, but when you have had a brother like that it is impossible not to” (Alexander). Finally, Vin Diesel thanked the viewers and the critics for recognition of Fast and Furious and the acting talent of the Paul Walker: “Thank you for recognizing that angel. The world is a little lonelier without him. But I know he’s looking down at us, and smiling, because all of you have acknowledged him. This is for you, Pablo” (Alexander).
After the death of the star, it was acknowledged that Paul left his whole fortune to his only daughter, Meadow. Since she was only 15 at that time, according to his will the mother of Paul Walker, Cheryl, was appointed to be the Meadow’s guardian. Other family members and his girlfriend were not mentioned in the documents (Maresca and Hutchinson).
Although the life of Paul Walker was not very long, it was extremely bright and full of good moments, emotions and people. Paul was standing in front of new beginnings, new roles, and new possibilities. He only began to feel what it is like to be a real full-time father, he enjoyed this new role, he coped with it perfectly, but he was interrupted at the beginning of his parenthood. He developed himself every day, without being afraid of any new activities and challenges. The life of Paul Walker ended abruptly, but he always remains in the heart of his family, friends and just ordinary people, who love him, all over the world.