Hollywood could use more actors like Paul Walker.
In the wake of his tragic, untimely death this past weekend, reports began flooding in about the man and who he was off the screen. Walker was never going to win any acting awards (probably). I myself have more than once described his on-screen presence as wooden. But to nearly everyone who ever worked with him, Walker was, apparently, one of the friendliest, most dedicated and devoted actors anyone in the business could ask for. He pushed himself hard on-set and was always easy to work for and with.
Off-screen he was even more of a paragon, it would seem, devoting countless hours to charitable organizations. Particularly, he was big into helping out first responder teams that would help out at disaster sites. In fact, he was leaving an event that would benefit victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines when his fatal wreck occurred.
What’s admirable about all of this is not just that he was so devoted to it (he would often go and volunteer at the aid sites and do on-the-ground work) or that he raised awareness for these causes, it’s that he did so in a way that never brought attention to himself. For Walker, it’s obvious that he never wanted to be the story and simply used his fame and money to put attention where it truly belonged.
It’s generosity of that sort that Hollywood would do well to emulate. We need more like Paul Walker.
Teen heartthrob though he was (for a time), it’s also clear that Walker chose projects that were of interest to him and not simply films that would center or allow him to coast on his charm and good looks. Even his work on the “Fast & Furious” films was born from his fervent love of cars.
Again, Walker was far from some iconic or chameleon-esque actor who disappeared into roles. But he did have an undeniable charm to him, a quality and affability that allowed you to like him almost instantly no matter who or what he was playing. He had an enthusiasm and intensity that was apparent in what he did and how he did it.
We need more actors, heck we need more people, like Paul Walker.
I’m going to miss him. My love for the “Fast & Furious” series has only grown over the years, and his work was certainly part of why. He may have seemed like he was trying to hard in the early films, but as the series went on, he eased into a certain kind of laidback coolness. He was turning into an actor that you could tell his best days as a performer were ahead of him. It’s a shame we’ll never get to see them.
Rest in peace, Mr. Walker.