Paul Walker joined the Fast and Furious cast before he even saw a script. In case you didn't know, the character, Brian O'Conner (who Walker plays) is not far off from the person Paul Walker was - a man who lived for cars, racing, and speed.
It is certainly a positive thing that Walker was able to find his passion and pursue it throughout his entire life, but it ended up being the same hobby that he loved that took his life too soon.
Walker spoke with Entertainment Tonight, revealing his love of cars and speed:
"I’ve always been into cars. Growing up with all the car publications around the house, going to my grandfather’s shop … he was the first to break 160 mph with the Ford Falcon back in the day, which was a big deal.”
He later would speak to Motor Trend, a very popular car magazine about how Universal reached out to him about the original Fast and Furious movie:
"Universal came to me with a newspaper article about street racing in L.A. and I was like ‘Are you kidding me? I grew up doing that right off Peoria in Sun Valley. They asked if I wanted to do it. There wasn’t even a screenplay, there was nothing, but I was like …’Fuck yeah, I want to do it!'”
Walker loved cars, and the fact that he was able to make loads of money following that spark that he must've felt inside at a young age had to have been incredibly rewarding. In this article, I'll be going into further detail about Walker's death, but not to incite a negative reaction or suggest that he was foolhardy - rather, I am going to give a run-down of what happened to a man who tragically passed away doing what he loved.
Paul Walker loved fast cars and speed
The way that Walker spoke about his love of cars, and more importantly speed, came through in almost all of his interviews prior to his tragic death.
Like this time, when he spoke to ET Online about the fastest he had gone in a car...
“Just under 200. I did 197. I just haven’t broken 200 yet, which is driving me crazy! I’ll do it; it’s just a matter of finding the right car. Every car I have has plenty of power for that and everything — it’s just aerodynamics.”
This was the Facebook photo that 'Always Evolving,' the group that put together the event at which Walker passed away, posted of the gorgeous vehicles... dubbed "our babies" in the post.
Experienced driver Roger Rodas and Paul Walker were to drive one of these Porsche's that day, but their relationship had started long before that. Rodas and Walker had met in a similar situation, at a racetrack years before. Rodas was originally Walker's financial advisor and driving mentor, with more experience driving fast on the professional circuit.
Paul shared this passion with his friend Roger Rodas
The relationship evolved into a close friendship and financial partnership. For it was Rodas who had driven for years on the Porsche Cup Cars series and who had probably more knowledge than almost anybody at that time of horsepower, racing, beautiful expensive cars, and how to make those cars go fast... extremely fast.
Rodas is pictured below:
What happened that tragic day?
Jim Torp, an attendee at the fateful event, 'Always Evolving,' spoke on what happened as the event was coming to a close around 3pm. He mentioned this to E! News:
“Everybody was winding down. They were getting ready to park a Porsche and decided to take it for a joyride.”
It's incredibly sad that it was this spur of the moment joyride that led to both Rodas and Walkers' deaths. Here's a photo of Walker speaking to Rodas about taking a ride in his Porsche GT, citing that he had never ridden in that specific car before...
It must have been such a strange situation. The day was winding down, nobody expected anything big to happen, and I'm sure things were just generally concluding. As soon as the crash happened, though, all of that quietness would evaporate almost immediately.
TMZ snapped the first picture and broke the original story. It was later confirmed by 'Always Evolving,' but of course it took a while to confirm that both driver and passenger, were indeed deceased.
Walker's close friend Newt immediately ran over to the car. He tried to extinguish Walker's body, which was burning, but it simply wasn't enough. Newt ended up punching a fire fighter later who tried to pull him away.
It was mostly due to the fact that Newt was incredibly distraught by this whole incident and the firefighters weren't there very quickly. It's difficult to place blame, though, as the fire was strong and surely the impact was, too. There was probably not much that could've been done.
Brian O'Conner from the [Furious 7](movie:264263) movies had some great friends who had his back. Arguably, Walker's REAL-life friends were even more loyal. Antonio Holmes, one of Walker's friends, told TMZ that they had been spraying fire extinguishers, emptying at least seven before firefighters ever arrived to the scene. There were multiple people who were detained simply because they refused to stop helping. They were all later released.
E! News reported on how everyone who was there tried to keep Walker's daughter, Meadow away from the activity. Jim Torp, the same man from before, was quoted saying, “They kept his daughter off to the side, so she wouldn’t know what was going on until they really knew what had happened,” he told E! news, adding that the 15-year-old “was in pieces.”
What may have caused the fateful crash?
There were tire-marks near the crash that may have been (but investigators caution are not guaranteed to have been) donuts, a popular driving move done to make figure eight tire marks with a car. If that car is incredibly powerful, it's likely that the driver can very easily lose control. Regardless, it isn't my job, or anybody's for that matter, to break down that dangerous day.
The danger of the sport (which it very much is, by the way) is probably always firmly implanted somewhere in the back of the minds of everyone who does this type of thing, but it only takes a split-second mistake or the power of the vehicle taking over to bring that harsh reality to the forefront.
Finger-pointing or playing the blame game here is a waste of time. A couple of men died doing what they had been in love with their entire lives. It's incredibly tragic, but nobody here was at fault.
He was a good guy, you could tell just by how he spoke. And he will be missed. I mean, 2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa did a better job than I ever could describing what it is about this franchise that works so well. And that 'ride or die' feeling you get from watching it...
(Via: The Wrap)