Sadly by now the world knows of Paul Walker's passing this past Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. At such a young age we also know that Walker had years of performances and memories to forge on and off his camera.
I was introduced to Walker's films when I was fourteen years old. After all, a part of every teenager's life is going to the movie theater. Though I must admit I was introduced to him through the Disney Channel's "Meet the Deedles" as opposed to film in theaters. In a lot of ways, I wish I was as into browsing an actor's filmography on IMDB when I was teen because of him. This was never the case for me so at first I stumbled upon Paul Walker's films.
In fact, most of the films I saw with him at first was because I went to the theaters the same movie for another actor. However through each film, I came to a relaxation. Paul Walker was a hard actor to ignore. His characters were always interesting despite the fact he might not be playing the most likeable person. The character I remember disliking him for the most at the time happened to be Dean Sampson in "She's All That." This was merely because he ruined things for Laney and Zack and a teenager cannot have such in a romantic comedy.
Around the same time, I felt for him as Lance Harbor in "Varsity Blues" but ultimately loved how they developed his character. To this day this is still one of my favorite roles of his. While his ideal dream is shattered, by the end of the feature viewers know that Lance is not going to merely give up. He can still have football in his life, just not the way he expected.
However the role that made me take true notice of Walker was his portrayal of Caleb Mandrake in "The Skulls." In fact, any time I see the original feature on a movie channel, no matter how far in, I find myself watching the film from that moment until the very end. There are so many scenes I can speak of to praise Walker in "The Skulls" but the ending seems the most fitting. Instead of being a guy who listens to his father's orders, he grows into a man of his own and does the opposite of what everyone expects.
From that moment on, when I saw Paul Walker in a preview to a movie, I found myself paying my allowance to see him at the theater. The first of many films began with "Joy Ride," and of course "The Fast and the Furious." And while I have not seen every film he was in in theaters, I have taken the time to rent a few here and there I missed. In fact, while working at Blockbuster a customer had recommended "Running Scared" to me it seemed like a no-brainer upon seeing the cover.
Needless to say when it was announced that Walker would be in the fourth installment of "The Fast and the Furious" franchise, I was back in theaters. I was back to enjoying this terrific actor once more, as was the world in a lot of ways. Fans of the original film all began to embrace the franchise once more. We all found ourselves wanting to who would really win in a race. Brian O'Conner or Dominic Toretto.
My initial instinct upon hearing of Walker's death was to think this was some sick practical joke. After all a hoax had gone around just a mere day earlier. In a lot of ways, the headlines read like a movie. The headlines appeared to be impossible. How could someone I loved so much as a teenager be dead? How could someone I loved so much die such a tragic death?
No one has a good answer right now and in all reality only the man upstairs can answer such a question. They say that God works in mysterious ways. I've always agreed with that statement, but it is times like this that really makes you understand such a sentiment.
Rest in peace Paul Walker, you will live forever in our hearts.