Paul William Walker IV (born September 12, 1973) is an American actor. He became well known in 2001 after starring in the surprise summer hit The Fast and the Furious and has since gone on to star in its sequels 2 Fast 2 Furious and Fast & Furious. His other successful movies include Joy Ride, Running Scared, and Eight Below.Paul is purple belt in Brazilan Jiujitsu under Paragon Jiujitsu. Walker was a big car enthusiast prior to the filming of The Fast and The Furious.
What did it take you to come back?
I’m a fast and a furious guy, whether I want to be or not. There was a period after the first one, I came back for the second one, and then I felt like I needed to prove myself. I’m a little older and wiser now. I realize that everyone has been so lucky doing this stuff, to have a franchise pinned to your forehead. This is one where I enjoy the people, I like working with Neil. I’ve worked with Neil a dozen times. I’ve known him for years now. Jordana Brewster, I love Jordana Brewster. Michelle Rodriguez, we all got along. This was when things were pop; when everyone was young. Things just kind of broke, and here we are, ten years later. I had taken a ton of time off and I finally got to a place where I feel good, I feel centered again, and hey, what a great way to come back work with some friends and have a good time.
Is your daughter old enough now to enjoy these...?
My daughter is 10.
Is she allowed to see it?
I think she’s seen them now. She doesn’t watch movies. She goes to a Waldorf School. They’re not into TV, or movies or any of that stuff.
How do you think the crisis is affecting the movie business, and is it affecting you personally?
It’s not affecting me and I feel guilty for it almost. This last year was very lucrative for me. I did this film and another, but I see it all around. I have friends and families that are losing their homes, it started with their second home, they lost it, they lost all the toys, and now they are fighting tooth and quad to hold on to their primary residence.
But your surfboard is safe?
Yeah, my surfboard is safe.
What is the second movie that you just did?
It was an action movie, a similar genre to Fast & Furious. No title, Matt Dillon, Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown, T.I… there’s a bunch of us.
You talk about action, and we see when you’re introduced into this movie you're in pretty good shape? Did you have a stunt double?
I did that whole chase scene.
You did everything? Even going through the glass?
What type of preparation did you have to do? How did you physically and mentally prepare?
You know how I am. I don’t sit still, I’m always playing sports so when something like that comes up; I’m ready. I’ll sit there and stretch before I go. But I got to tell you after four days my hamstrings and my hip flexors were so tight, hurdling from rooftop to rooftop, all the jumping, and what killed me were the dress shoes - I was not taking that into account. I slipped and fell a lot. They’re leather sole, and I’m running a full sprint, I have to cut a corner, there’s no traction…
You’re talking about that jump from the top of the building, was that you?
Yes, but that’s CG!! But there is still a gap!! There wasn’t a hundred foot drop though.
Aren’t you more conservative now with your daughter...?
Oh yeah what I’m doing in this now pales in comparison to other things that I used to do. I definitely mellowed out. Age has done that. I’m 35 and I notice.
Recovery time, that’s what it really is, it’s recovery time. Crashing motorcycles, laying stuff down, normally I would just haved walk away from it. Few weeks later, feel a 100%. I had a motorcycle accident in July and I’m still feeling it.
It was pretty bad, I ran into the back of a car about 50 miles an hour. It was on July 3rd; we had a cell phone law that went into effect on the first, no more driving around with cell phones. This guy was up from San Diego State, college student visiting his friends in Santa Barbara, on his cell phone, in the far right lane. Then right in front of me another guy on his cell phone talking. I’m on the motorcycle so I slow down and back off, the student that’s in the far right lane is getting directions from his buddy that lives in town who tells him that he just missed his left hand turn, makes a left hand turn right in front of the car that’s in front of me. He locks up his brakes, doesn’t have his ABS. I hit the trunk. I’m right over the top. I didn’t hit the car but my bike did and I flew clean.
You were lucky…
Yes. The thing that was so crazy is I went to the gym that morning, wearing full leathers in my backpack that I had on, I had my gym clothes. I went to the gym and I trained legs. When I train legs, I train them really hard. I was feeling really nauseous. So at the end of the workout I was like, oh I only live four blocks away; I’m just going to ride home with my gym clothes on. The thing that saved me was my backpack. I mean you can see a little road rash here. I got hit badly.
That guy must have been like “dude I just hit Paul Walker”!!
When I asked him to take my helmet off and he pulled it off, it was like he saw a ghost. I thought the guy was going to die. I wish I had a photograph of his face! It was the best; I thought he was going to cry!!
So going through an experience like that, having made all these movies where there are car crashes, but they’re choreographed and everything’s contained, is it a surreal experience to have that comparison of knowing you’ve been in a real accident versus all these celluloid crashes? It happens a lot faster.
You know what’s funny about car accidents and motorcycle crashes, in actuality, it always seem like it’s in slow motion? It happens fast. I don’t know, to me everything seems like it’s in slow motion, you see it developing. It’s like your mind kicks in and knows you’re screwed, it’s like all of a sudden “I’m screwed” Everything just goes slow!! And no matter what you do, there’s no getting out of it.
You do a lot of performance driving?
Yeah, I go to the track at least once every other month. DT3, Porsche. And I have an E46 racecar BMW, BMW factory car.
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