Over the weekend, we received shocking and tragic news when it was confirmed that Paul Walker died in a fiery car crash. A lot of us were hoping that the “breaking news” on several social media accounts were just part of an elaborate hoax. The Internet is notorious for announcing imaginary celebrity deaths in the past. Unfortunately, the star of the blockbuster franchise Fast and the Furious has indeed passed away.
People always tell me that it’s so strange when others get so affected by a celebrity’s death. While it’s true that most of us reading never really knew Paul Walker personally, he is someone we’ve seen in a couple of movies over the years.
I grew up watching Varsity Blues, She’s All That and Pleasantville in the 90’s. After that, I saw him in a couple of more films but I’ll always remember him for being one of the leading men in Fast and the Furious.
Over the weekend, I decided to watch some of the films I remembered and enjoyed from him the most. Some might not be everybody’s favorites, but it’s one of the films that made his death even more tragic for me.
1. Varsity Blues
This is the first movie of Paul Walker’s that I’ve seen and I probably remembered it best for Ali Larter’s whipped cream scene. In the film, he played the star quarterback of a high school team who was injured and replaced by James Van Der Beek’s character.
It was closely similar to Friday Night Lights, but was catered more to teenagers. I remember seeing this with my friends and everyone was gushing about Paul Walker and we didn’t know who he was. It was the time when “googling” everything wasn’t a thing then and smartphones didn’t exist.
I started referring to Paul Walker as Skip Martin after watching this film. Pleasantville is one of my favorite films and Walker played a high school jock in a different context. It wasn’t a teen oriented film since it delved deep into the morality and standards of American suburbia.
3. The Fast and the Furious
I’ve written a lot about the Need for Speed: Underground games in the past and the Fast and the Furious franchise was responsible for how much I loved the video game racing series so much.
Paul Walker introduced me to the world of street racing and the beauty of customized cars running on nitrous oxide. He helped re-ignite the buzz on the import scene among mainstream culture.
It’s amazing how this franchise lasted several years and still be successful. I thought that the series still had its engine running full cylinders until I heard about his death. While Walker is only a part of the ensemble cast, he is an integral and sentimental figure in the franchise since he was there from the very beginning.
4. Eight Below
I seriously bawled when I saw this film considering how much I love dogs. It doesn’t help that I had a Siberian Husky who prematurely died from Cancer when I was a kid.
Paul Walker stars in a film about rescuing sled dogs in Antarctica. It was an enjoyable film that tugs the audience heartstrings through the entire film. It’s definitely one of the films that made the actor more endearing to his fans.
5. Flag of Our Fathers
While I enjoyed Letters of Iwo Jima better, I still enjoyed watching this film and learning a bit about the iconic flag-raising photo during WWII. Paul Walker’s character died early on, but his role was an integral part of the plot’s tension.
This was one of the films wherein I enjoyed seeing the actor in a film that didn’t involve him playing a jock. He’s not a just a teen heartthrob since this movie shows how he can diversify his roles.
[Editor’s Note: Watch Running Scared as well. Probably one of Walker’s best features]