I find myself still shocked and intrigued at Paul Walker passing away last November. For the ones who don’t know who Paul Walker is, first he isn’t related to me despite the same surname. Paul Walker was an actor, and much famed in the Fast & Furious franchise. I only recently took an interest in the franchise when I was backpacking and seen the 5th instalment. I was interested because the location for that one was Rio, Brazil, where I have just been. At the time, I knew I was headed there next in terms of backpacking. The relationship and action sequences interested me so I became a fan.
Roll on a couple years, and up to PW’s death, I didn’t know much about the guy. From what I read, he wasn’t really into the celebrity status, Hollywood. He was always doing acting but had much more about him. He was thinking of being a marine biologist, had experience in trade work and loved fast cars. From what I read, he was a down to earth guy that just made it big.
I remember a friend of mine, who is from Australia and the Philippines, once met him in Indonesia. Indonesia is big on surfing and aqua life. She asked him for a photo, but he declined this. His reasons were because he didn’t want people to notice and he wouldn’t have a picture with everyone. I mean, when I heard this, I thought, that’s not the way to react to a fan. But I guess, it was his way of trying to still associate himself with being a normal guy with no publicity. Just a thought.
By watching videos, spoofs, interviews of PW, you can tell he was a normal guy. He liked video games, outdoor sports, talked and joked as if normal, despite a camera being stuck in his face. He was honest and wise. His movies I’ve seen, he was definitely maturing as an actor, especially in one called ‘Hours’. If you like movies, and solo actors performances, have a go at this one. The movie is all on PW, and its enthralling to watch the difference between his Fast character to this one and what the expectations are.
Despite all this, the reason why he relates to me is that he actually reminds me of two people who are special in my life. His personality, his look, his natural way he seeks for fun things and to have a laugh. He isn’t the tough guy, but the guy who is fair, but wants to treat everyone cool. Isn’t phased by their status or ego. He looks for the fun in everything, doesn’t take things too seriously I think the best way to put it. The two people in my life are firstly, my kid brother, Jack. He’s 21. He has a similar looseness about him that is similar to what I’ve seen of Paul Walker. He has a happiness that he just wants to be accepted as him. He likes cool shit and just is happy being him. Especially in Fast 1, when PW character Brian O’Conner gets out the car from his race with Dom. His smile and joy despite just losing a race, reminds me of Jack so much. Proud to be doing something he likes and to mix it with the best of them. The naive but natural teeth showing smile does it for me.
Secondly, one of my best friends, Kevin Bibas. I met Kev travelling, and at first we didn’t became close, when we both moved to Australia at different times I may add, we ended up living together. Even though we are both different, we clicked and it worked. Kind of like the Brian and Dom characters in Fast & Furious. Kevin is from California, and thats the aspect his brings to my relation with Paul Walker. The accent, the chill way of doing things, and just being Californian, relates for me.
It’s always strange when we can relate to a death with a celebrity, because most of us won’t have knew them. But with PW, his down to earth attitude, it almost felt as if he was a fan like us, the one who wasn’t a celebrity. He wanted to just get on like we do, no bright lights and fuss. That’s why the earth stood still on the 30th November 2013. We didn’t just lose a star on the screens for our entertainment, we lose some who could relate to the people. We lost one of the few individuals who forget the bullshit in life. We lost a role model and brother.