On November 29, I made the decision to follow a certain actor on Twitter. Twenty-four hours later, a single tweet was sent from that account that shook up Hollywood and the rest of America. Actor Paul Walker, star of The Fast and The Furious franchise, had passed away tragically and ironically in a car crash at the age of 40.
As soon as this happened, my Twitter feed was bombarded with tweets from celebrities expressing just how upset they were. And for some reason, I too found myself extremely upset about this. And yes, the official tribute video released by The Fast and The Furious cast and crew made me cry.
Walker led a life outside of the public eye. Besides being an actor, many don’t know that he was the father to his 15 year old daughter named Meadow, and he was as nice as a guy could get. After his death, stories of his generosity and kindness stormed the web. One time he was at a jewelry store in the presence of a war veteran who was about to be deployed again, and his fiancé. The fiancé picked out an engagement ring, but the vet said they didn’t have enough money for it. Needless to say, Walker told the jeweler to put the $10,000 engagement ring on his tab, and walked out of the store, leaving the happy couple in bliss. It is rare when someone is so willing to do something that big for others, and it just showed what type of person he is. In addition, at the time of his death, he was at a charity event for his foundation, Reach Out World Wide. ROWW as it is called, works to accelerate relief efforts after natural disasters. The event that he was at was to benefit the Philippines.
Now I know I am making this sound like I personally knew him, and I wish I did. He seemed like such an upstanding man that anyone would be lucky to be friends with. But this tragedy was completely unexpected, and quite frankly shocking.
I have found myself in a rut. A Paul Walker rut. So in the past few days, I have been watching movies that featured him. I know that this sounds weird, but once I find an actor or actress whose work I like, I marathon their films. And Paul Walker is no exception to this.
I first started with his most recent movie, Hours. Hours debuted at the SXSW film festival this past year, and is being released in theaters and on demand on December 13. Hours tells the story of Nolan Hayes, who becomes a widower after his wife gives birth to their daughter right before the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Nolan’s premature daughter requires a respirator, but when the power fails, and the hospital evacuates, he is left alone with his baby, and has to manually charge the respirator’s battery, which will only hold a 3 minute charge. This story honestly was so touching. Not only did it show a father’s unrequited love for his daughter, but showed perseverance and strength in a time when it was not present. It’s a tragedy that Walker won’t be here to see the success of this film. I normally am not a fan of thrillers, but this was the best movie I have seen in a while. It’s worth checking it out.
I then followed Hours with the late 90s classic, She’s All That. Walker played the typical high school jerk, but that didn’t matter. He did a great job acting, and even though his character was an ass, you wanted to keep on seeing the scenes that he was in.
After this, I went to Pleasantville. This was a movie I watched last year in sociology, and as soon as the Pleasantville basketball captain Skip Martin appeared on screen last year, I knew I recognized that face. Compared to Walker’s role in She’s All That, Skip was the quintessential 1950s boy, who was polite and a gentleman. However, after being corrupted by Reese Witherspoon, the town of Pleasantville changed forever.
As I said before, it is truly a shame that we lost such a talented actor so early.
I’m not sure why I am so attached to this, and I don’t know if I’ll ever know. But this has taught me that life is fragile and sacred. We never know when it is going to be our time. We need to take a minute and separate ourselves from all the superficial nonsense in our lives, and be appreciative of one another and ourselves. We need to be thankful for the people in our life, and everything that we have. We need to let our loved ones know that we love them, and cherish every moment we have with them, because in the blink of an eye, life can drastically change.
We lost an actor way too soon, and there is nothing that we can do to change that, but we can celebrate his life and all that he did.
Rest In Peace Paul Walker.
“When you put good will out there it’s amazing what can be accomplished” Paul Walker