I can’t remember exactly when I fell in love with Paul Walker. Maybe when I caught a glimpse of his California good-looks and smile on the cover of Seventeen magazine? Talking about his dreams of being a marine biologist, and his young daughter. Or was it one of the Fast and Furious movies? (Not that I saw them all. Even a hardcore Paul Walker fan like me couldn’t make it through them all. But then I think he bailed on a few as well.) Or was it an episode of Young and The Restless? But when he said that his Into The Blue co-star, Jessica Alba was, ‘such a pain in my ass,” albeit a beautiful pain in the ass, he had my heart forever.
He was a throw back of sorts, with the kind of old-fashion, clean-cut looks of a Norman Rockwell painting. Certainly an exotic breed by today’s standards. Perfect casting for 1998’s satirical Pleasantville, with Walker in the role of wholesome boyfriend Skip Martin. I recall a film critic panning one of his performances and snarking on his Orange county accent. But Walker was a working actor, and I always thought a rather smart one. Not too proud to take supporting roles in less than prestigious films. (Paging Vin Diesel.) Long after his co-star in She’s All That, Freddie Prinze Jr. (remember when he was going to be the next big thing?) career had dried up, Walker was hustling in the what once upon a time might have been considered b-grades. B-grades like the F&F franchise that have earned over two billion at the worldwide box office. Universal Studios’ biggest franchise of all time.
J.J. Abram’s 2001’s Joyride get’s my vote as his best movie. A b-grade horror film (is there any other kind) about two guys who tangle with the wrong trucker. His life both in reality and on film were filled with chase sequences and fast cars. A sad coincidence.
R.I.P Paul Walker