Monday, December 23, 2013

R.I.P. Paul Walker

On November 30th at about 3:30PM Pacific Standard Time, "Fast and Furious" actor Paul Walker died in flames after the car he was riding in lost control and struck a lamp post. He was a passenger in a Porsche driven by a friend. Both died at the scene although a rescue attempt was made and abandoned after the flames got too high and fierce to approach. As you might imagine, the Hollywood film community is stunned and those who knew him, loved him, and worked with him are beside themselves with grief. There were nearly 3 million people talking about him on Facebook. That's kind of astonishing. As actors go, he didn't exactly burn down the house with his film choices. There was probably not going to be an Academy Award in his future. He was a working actor with a pretty thick resume of roles in TV and film. There are certainly those who might call the work "pedestrian", or perhaps disposable entertainment. Even the "Fast and Furious" movies which became his claim to fame aren't what anyone would call elevated works of film.  It's a set of action movies filled to the brim with fast cars, impossible chase scenes, and improbable stunts.

But the point is he got to follow his passions: surfing, marine biology, which he majored in in college, racing, and acting. He packed a lot of living into 40 all too brief years, and he was determined to leave an impact, an impression. Sometime next year we're going to be looking for awards for "Best Picture", "Best Director", etc. Paul Walker's last efforts before he died won't likely make the list. Those who know him will remember that he led with his heart and followed what he was passionate about, which also happened to include a 15 year-old daughter that he was clearly besotted with, and who must now pick up the pieces of her heart and carry her father with her as she goes forward into life.

And I am reminded of how fragile and fleeting, yet impossibly full of wonder our time here is, and how the possibilities of it must be recognized and seized and not wasted on foolish things like grudges and resentments and fears. Paul Walker seemed to get that in an unforced, natural way. With kind of a smile and a shrug as he waited to catch the next wave.

Paul Walker, 1973-2013
Rest In Peace

More Later