Paul Walker is gone but certainly not forgotten. The late actor left his mark on pop culture with a copious amount of entertaining movies and franchise defining roles. Walker went from being a child actor to becoming the fascination of plenty of teenage ladies to becoming one of the cornerstones of one of the biggest movie franchises in cinematic history.
It turns out there are a plethora of layers to The Fast and the Furious icon, stemming from his early days as a teenager and into his twenties trying to make it in show business to raging and having a lot of fun at other people’s expense. Paul Walker’s role of Brian O’Conner and his other characters will live forever on screen, but there’s more behind the scenes, behind the man.
There are still various circumstances surrounding his life and death that are sure to grab the ears of fans around the world. Paul was such an open yet slightly closed book that it’s amazing that he was about to slide through the media-tabloid fuelled world basically unscathed while he was enjoying the height of his fame; that’s a testament to the late actor being a good yet sly and witty individual who was also able to slip through the cracks, until now. So buckle up and check out 15 facts about Paul Walker’s life and death he wouldn’t want you to know.
15 He Dated Underage Women
It was reported that Walker may have dated not one, but two 16 year-olds when he was a full grown adult; not an early twenty-something-year-old that could bend the rules and maybe kinda get away with it, we’re talkin’ in his thirties or at best, late twenties. These allegations were purported by Crusable.com’s Alexis Rhiannon, who received a fair amount of backlash from Paul Walker fans considering the timing of the news was close to the Fast and The Furious star’s untimely death.
At one time Walker dated model Aubrianna Atwell when she was sixteen; he was 28 years old. Paul was dating Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell around the time he passed away. Crushable revealed that Jasmine was 23 at the time. Paul died at 40 years of age and had been going out with the 23-year-old for 7 years. If one were to perform simple math that means that Mr. Walker was 33 and Jasmine was 16 at the time they started going out. Ew? Weird? Awkward?
14 His Death Was His Own Fault, According To Porsche
The car dealer placed the tragic death of Paul Walker on…Paul Walker. They revealed that the sports car (Porsche Carrera GT) he was a passenger in and eventually crashed was already “abused and altered.” The company went on to further add that Walker’s “death, and all other injuries or damages claimed, were the result of [his] own comparative fault.”
Walker’s daughter Meadow Rain Walker, actually filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the car company, claiming that the vehicle that spelled her father’s unfortunate doom had multiple design flaws. Porsche fired back saying that the car was “…abused and altered after being placed into the stream of commerce in a manner that was not reasonably foreseeable to Porsche Cars North America.” The investigation that took place unveiled that the true cause of the collision that took the life of Paul Walker and his friend and passenger Roger Rodas, was due to the fact that the car was racing between 80 and 93 mph at the time the car collided with a power pole and a bunch of trees (CNN.com).
13 He Was Nominated In The Worst Actor Category At The 2004 Razzies
The Role? His iconic The Fast and the Furious role of Brian o’Conner clearly wasn’t always viewed that way. The actor continued with The Fast and the Furious franchise despite the absence of his co-star Vin Diesel in 2003’s 2Fast 2Furious, a movie that has perhaps essentially been forgotten in 'Fast and Furious' lore. The movie, while it does most likely have a core of devotees, isn’t known for being one of the better entries for the movies. Even though 2Fast 2Furious would turn out to be an important film in terms of character introductions for the overall growth of the billion dollar franchise, at the time it came across as a tacked on sequel. 2Fast 2Furious picks up with Walker’s character Brian O’Conner on the run from the FBI and LAPD for letting Dominic Toretto get away in the events of the previous film. He eventually ends up in Miami where he meets Tej Parker (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and reacquaints himself with his former friend Roman Pierce (Tyrese Gibson). Obviously this wasn’t Walker’s biggest example of success as an actor, despite 2Fast 2Furious being a box office hit.
12 He Cheated On His Ex-Girlfriend And Baby Mama Rebecca McBrain
Rebecca McBrain and Paul Walker were lovers that spawned Meadow Rain Walker. That love didn’t last due to the late actor not being faithful to his partner. Paul couldn’t even stay faithful with his former girlfriend when she was pregnant with his daughter. He admitted that he knew exactly what he was doing. He was out with other girls and even slept with her friends. Walker later admitted that not marrying McBrain was a big mistake. Meadow ended up spending 13 years with her mom while her dad tended to his life. He claimed that it was the best way for them to work things out and get along considering the circumstances. Walker’s ex raised his daughter in Hawaii. Meadow decided that she wanted to spend more time with her famous father and ended up moving to his home in California.
“We get along so well as a result of me playing it the way that I did." That said, Paul was able to come through and make things work for him, Rebecca, and most importantly his daughter.
11 He Turned Down Playing Superman Because Of His Dark Side
We know the story of Superman; truth, justice, and the American way, blah blah blah. Superman is supposed to represent the best of humanity, despite the fact that he’s an alien. It would basically take mind control to turn Superman into an evil person. It turns out that Paul Walker was offered the role and turned it down for some rather interesting reasons, including the notion of being in touch with his “dark side.”
Walker felt his personality was closer to his character in The Fast and the Furious movies compared to the Man of Steel. Even though everyone thoroughly enjoyed Walker as Brian O’Conner, one has to admit that it does say something about an actor willing to play a character that is a genuinely good person yet leaves a job as a cop to lead a life of crime with a group of other “good” criminals that he learns to call his family…Not any actor can just walk in and do that; Paul Walker could, and it was enough of an inner battle for him to turn down the coveted role of Superman.
10 He Once Faced Felony Charges
There’s no question that Paul Walker was an all-around nice individual who gave to charities and used his fame and fortune to help causes he was passionate about. The thing is, most people don’t realize that the star at one time revealed that he once faced felony charges; these facts slipped under the radar and went completely unnoticed. He was asked about the “worst thing he’s ever done” during an interview for Takers back in 2009. Walker revealed that he faced felony charges for an “undisclosed act.” He would also use his mix of good looks and charm to get himself out of trouble on a regular basis; he basically became an expert at performing these “acts.”
“….I did some stupid things when I was younger, I think we all did. I was always the guy who would find a way around this, or I would find a way around that. And usually when I smiled or winked, I would get out of trouble which enabled too much. I was just that guy.”
9 He Wanted His Celebrity Status To Go Away
Believe it or not, it’s more than possible to be rich and famous but still want to have time for oneself and his or her family. In an interview Indiewire.com Walker revealed that he felt life was too short and he wanted his fame to disappear. The late actor was actually planning on stepping away from the big screen to spend more time with his daughter Meadow. That meant he never wanted to commit to more Fast and the Furious movies. Paul’s father, Paul Walker Sr., revealed that his famous son would have actually traded his Hollywood lifestyle for a nice, quiet life with his daughter. It got to a point where Paul actually began to regret taking new roles.
“Paul wasn’t big on fame and preferred to live modestly,” said Paul Walker Sr.
There’s no question that fans would have been very upset to find that Paul Walker was going to turn his back on Hollywood, but at the same time it’s something they all would’ve understood.
8 His Death Sent Co-Star Michelle Rodriguez Into A Downward Spiral
It’s extremely doubtful that Paul Walker would want his death to severely affect his closest friends to the point of harm. That’s something that’s completely out of his hands considering the circumstances surrounding his passing. For Michelle Rodriguez, that’s exactly what happened. The Fast and the Furious original opened up about her feelings regarding Paul’s death in the documentary The Reality of Truth. Rodriguez revealed that she went through an entire year trying to physically find a way tot get her mind off of everything and disappear. Michelle further added that she went “crazy, nuts, berserk-o” during the summer after Walkers death. Rodriguez visited Peru and ended up taking a regional psychedelic plant by the name of ayahuasca. She explained that she took it to escape and hide herself and it ended up making her jealous that he left her “here.”
“It wasn’t a sadness that he’s gone, it’s more like a jealousy that he’s there first,” she said.
7 He Survived The Initial Impact But Still Passed Away From Traumatic Burn Injuries
Paul Walker’s autopsy revealed that the Fast and the Furious cornerstone passed away from the combination of traumatic and thermal injuries, which generally indicates the initial impact and severe burns. The ill-fated crash was caught on a security camera. Bystanders were able to hear the crash 500 yards away and scolding black smoke emerged from the wrecked-Porsche mere minutes later.
The autopsy, performed by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, also revealed that Walker may have actually survived the initial impact, but was trapped within the vehicle. The driver, Roger Rodas, crashed the car and also suffered “multiple traumatic injuries.” It hasn’t been confirmed whether or not Rodas was still alive when the car burst into flames. The horrific crash and subsequent deaths were ruled an accident. The photo of Paul Walker’s body is very graphic and only further adds to the sadness and tragic nature surrounding the unfortunate event.
6 Furious 7 Producers Considered Scrapping The Whole Movie After His Death
Walker passed away while he still had work to be done on the film. There was looming speculation on how the cast and crew would proceed. There was an announcement that Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, would be retired instead of being killed off in Furious 7. However, that decision almost didn’t happen. In fact, producers originally considered scrapping the future billion and a half grossing movie altogether. Walker died on November 30th 2013, causing the studio to announce a halt in production indefinitely for everyone working on the movie to mourn the late actor’s passing.
Universal Studios provided a statement that said, “…At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Furious 7 for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise…” They almost started from scratch in regards to the movie and Paul’s character. The studio went with recreating Walker’s character by mixing scenes he already filmed, CGI, unused footage from previous films, and using his brothers Caleb and Cody Walker as stand-ins for action scenes.
5 The Curve He Died On Is Popular With Drifting
Roger Rodas and Paul Walker weren’t street racing, but they were going pretty damn fast. It turns out that the two died on a popular drifting spot named “Hercules curve.” In a report from Csmonitor.com, Lorraine Touvo described the curve as being “…chill for drifting…” and that it’s “…got just the perfect curve.” This fact is almost poetic in a tragic sense due to the fact that Paul Walker was associated with a blockbuster franchise that popularized street racing and drifting. Racers who were saddened by the actor’s death went on to say that it wouldn’t deter how any racers drove in the future. In fact, Jack Nerad, a man interviewed by the site, and a former editor of Motor Trend, claimed that Walker’s crash wouldn’t do anything to dampen the love for street racing. He added, “...sadly, might even romanticize it.” It’s incredibly hard not to see the parallels with the deaths of Walker and Rodas, except unfortunately this time it wasn’t a movie, it was real life.
4 He Hated Watching His Own Movies
Paul Walker was featured in a lot of notable films throughout his career. He didn’t just contribute to The Fast and The Furious franchise. Walker first made his bread and butter starring in teen oriented movies during the late 90s, early 200s. We’re talkin' Pleasantville, Varsity Blues, She’s All That, and The Skulls. Walker was also featured in the well-reviewed horror flick Joy Ride. The thing is, Paul hated watching himself on film despite all of this success pre- and post-The Fast and the Furious. It was reported that Walker wasn’t a fan of watching himself; it’s widely believed that he’s seen each of his movies once. It’s not uncommon that actors do this, but it’s interesting that Paul would be so embarrassed to see himself on the big screen, especially considering his cool, even smooth persona. One of Paul’s more known movies outside the fast and furious franchise includes the cult flick Running Scared and Takers.
3 He Had A Criminal Mind
Considering the fact that Walker admittedly had a way of getting out of trouble, it’s perhaps no surprise that he displayed signs of having a “criminal mind.” Walker was actually never a criminal, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t think like one. It’s also notable to remember that Walker’s most famous role is essentially a cop turned criminal. The actor loved playing the “good bad guy.”
“The crew was kind of similar to what you have walking the line, likeable, but bad. Similar to what you saw in like, Ocean's 11 or Point Break,” Paul said in an interview for Takers back in 2009. The actor would go on to enthusiastically state that he was “definitely criminally minded.” Walker has played the “good bad guy” in The Fast and the Furious franchise, the 2006 cult hit Running Scared, and in 2010’s Takers.
2 He Felt Like He Was A Contradictory Person
Paul Walker, after all, was human. He wasn’t perfect. We all make mistakes, don’t we? We all contradict ourselves, correct? Walker felt that’s exactly what he did when he revealed his love for animals and preserving the environment. All of that love took a turn in another direction when Walker revealed that while he loves the environment and animals, he hunted and raced cars whenever he could. Walker would eventually fend off his contradictory impulses, giving up hunting and further getting into photography. Some of Walker's environmental work revolved around marine life. He raised awareness about a fair amount of environmental issues. In fact his daughter Meadow continued to do her father’s work after his death with the Paul Walker Foundation. The Foundation’s Director of Education Programs, Rita Bell, revealed that the late actor had a lifelong passion for the ocean, when talking about the Ocean Leaders of the Future award.
1 He Was Homeless
Yes. The late Paul Walker, like many other actors and professionals in the arts, struggled and struggled hard at times. There was a time where he was homeless. Walker revealed that he was homeless in a 2003 interview. Walker expressed that the experience humbled him and made him pretty damn comfortable with having less compared to others. It would make sense considering that the star was strongly considering leaving his profession when there was still millions of dollars to be paid in the process. However, it should be remembered that Walker was able to grit and grind his way towards his passion, and the reward couldn’t be any greater. He honed in on his goals and accomplished feats that millions of people would most likely kill for.
“…10 Years ago I was living out of a garage and a pan-handling, so just being a little comfortable is more than good for me. In fact, this is heaven,” he said to the Chicago Sun Times.
Sources: CNN.com, Reelrundown.com, People.com, CSmonitor.com, TMZ.com