April 10, 2009 (Daily Record (UK)


April 10 2009 (Daily Record (UK)

Movie Q& A: Paul Walker - Fast & Furious

PAUL WALKER Fast & Furious

Q: What convinced you to come back to this franchise?

A: Timing. The writers' strike. I wanted to work. Everyone was available to come back & make the first true sequel. I had taken some time away, and I just wanted to get back and work and just have fun again.

Q: Did you have any input into the script?

A: No. We were still facing the writers' strike when we went into principle photography. We couldn't make any tweaks.

Q: Did you have any apprehension about revisiting the character?

A: Yeah. I think that everyone did. My biggest question was, 'Do people really still want to see this?' That was the big one for me. It's been 10 years now, well, just about.

Q: This film has a lot more technology in terms of CGI. Does that bother you as someone who likes to drive?

A: There's a tunnel sequence where you'd think almost all of that was CGI, but with the exception of the big crashes and the cars getting completely mangled, those cars were all being driven. The tunnel was CGI.

The tunnel was just drapes.

Q: Do you have a real need for speed in your own life?

A: I race all the time. I was just at the track on Wednesday. I have to drive a truck around the street. I can't drive a car. That's trouble.




February 9 - Movieweb

B. Alan Orange goes one-on-one with Paul Walker to talk about Running Scared, Eight Below, and working with Clint Eastwood!

This is MOUTH TRAFFIC with B. Alan Orange: "Mundverkehr mit den Sternan!"

Hey, this is B. Alan Orange. And I want to tell you about my favorite film of 2006. Huh? What? Yeah, you heard me right. I know the year hasn't even learned to walk yet, but it's going to take something mighty special to top what I saw last Tuesday. It's called Running Scared. And it shocked the shiz-bamm out of my fingertips. I know it has the same title as some thrift store Gregory Hines/Billy Crystal crime caper, but trust me, you'll forget all about that mediocre 80s flick after you see this tight, mean kick in the lungs.

Running Scared was directed by Wayne Kramer, the guy that made The Cooler with William H. Macy.And it stars Paul Walker, perennial pretty boy and also the lead in this month's Disney snow epic Eight Below (is it just me or does the poster look exactly like the one used for Disney's Snow Dogs with Cuba Gooding Jr. from a few years back?). Trust me; I wasn't expecting much when I walked into the theater. The synopsis did little to stir my interest. I read it with a sigh, expecting something along the lines of "The Knock Around Guys", also a New Line film. Walker plays a low level gangster in charge of clean-up. He's supposed to get rid of evidence, but he keeps a few guns used in a killing spree just incase the FBI get a hold of him. Well, the neighbour kid sees Paul stashing on of the guns in the wall of his basement. This much abused eight-year-old decides to "borrow" the gun and shoot his father in the John Wayne. The boy then runs away with said gun in hand. Walker has to hurry and find the kid before the mob or the cops can get their hands on the gun. Sounds like pretty standard noir fare. But that's just the sept up for one Hell of an unpredictable ride. This poor little eight year olds into one nightmare after the next. I sat there thinking, "This possibly couldn't get any worse." And then boom, I was slapped upside the head with some other unforeseen sidestep. And the ending is just brutal. I hadn't seen nor heard anything about this film before stepping into the screening room. It's one of the few times I've been surprised upon sight what appeared to be nothing more than a pedestrian attempt at making money. I walked out of the theater elated. Jazzed. Excited. I wanted to watch the film again, and I don't say that too often. This is going to go down as one of my favorite film experiences of the last five years. 

As luck would have it, I was allowed the opportunity to tell both Paul Walker and Wayne Kramer how much I loved their latest film. I sounded like a real kiss ass, but it's not too often I actually want to tell a star or director what I thought about their work. They both seemed genuinely appreciative of my comments. And then I found out later that a majority of the press did not like this film. Well, I don't have to tell you they're a bunch of turd-talking piss washers that wouldn't know a good film if it ripped off their collective jaw and beat tooth marks into their flesh. Which is a proven fact, because that's exactly what this Urban Fairytale did. And it will do the same thing to you!

If you go visit www.runningscaredmovie.com right now, you can see the first six minutes of the film. Warning, though. You watch it and you're going to want to see the film really bad. That's not a lie. There's also a video game on there that you can play. Don't ask me if it's any good or not. I hate video game and refused to play it. I told you it was there, though. So, if you like Grand Theft Auto, go take a look. Apparently, you can go down on Paul Walker's on-screen wife.

Now, for your reading enjoyment, here is my interview with Paul Walker. I actually like the guy, so if you don't, take a walk you Mormon hating banshees...

Paul Walker: Is it cool if I sit here?

B. Alan: You can sit where ever you want. So, I like this movie a lot.

Paul Walker: Me too.

B. Alan: I haven't seen a movie I liked this much in a long time. I don't usually tell people that.

Paul Walker: I love hearing that. I appreciate it. This is the kind of movie I want to see in the theater. When I'm in it, I kind of screw it up for myself a little bit. I'm pretty proud of it. I busted my ass on this. I did a lof of stuff I didn't know I could do.

B. Alan: I guess a lot of people are surpried because you usually appear in only one type of role. Here you're playing a really gritty type of tough guy. And your're believable as this character. Just awesome.

Paul Walker: I mean, my background is what? Come on, it's no secret. I talk about it. I surf, I skateboard. I'm from Southern California. I never thought I'd be an actor. And to be honest with you, I never really thought of myself as one. Even though I kept working. I thought I'd just do a wave of movies, and then I'd burn out. They just kept coming together. Then I did this movie called Noel. It was a small movie. Nobody saw it. I did it with Chazz Palminteri. It was a Christmas movie, if you can believe it. It was actually pretty cool. It was actually pretty cool. And then this came around shortly after. And I told everybody that this was the type of movie that I wanted to make. I don't think anybody thought I could do it. They thought I was a golden boy. I was told it wasn't for me. I'm just supposed to go swimming under water, and be running around with sharks. But this was the exactly the type of script I was talking about it. I read it while working on Into The Blue. For whatever reason, Wayne Kramer gave it ot me. I don't think he had anything to go off of. If I was Wayne, and I was Wayne, and I was so passionate and as crazy about making movies as he is, to be honest with you, going on the things that I'd done in the past, I was really surprised that gave me a shot. I saw The Cooler. I was like, "Oh, man. This guy is the real deal." I look at hime now and think, "If I can keep a relationship with this guy, he'll be my David Fincher." I called up Chazz and told him that I heard he was considering doing a role in Running Scared. He said, "Yeah." I said, "Do you think I can do it?" And he said, "Yeah. I think you should go do it. Because you're the type of guy that if you can cruise, you'll just cruise. But you're so competitive, that if they throw something heavy at you, you're going to go for it. You're not going to make an ass of yourself." And I was like, "If that's what you think." And he goes, "That's what I know." So I went for it, dude. I had so much fun. And I got to tell you, I don't want to make it any other way. I'm so glad you said that, dude.       

B. Alan: Was that a rude statement?

Paul Walker: No, I'm glad that you said that. It just feels good.

B. Alan: What's some of the stuff you learned while making this? Some of the stuff you hadn't done before.

Paul Walker: One thing I learned was; I thought actors were freaks. Especially this method stuff. Bringing the character home with you. A good friend of mine, Giovanni Ribisi is a freaking whack job. When he's working on a movie, I don't even want to talk to his ass. He's taking it home with him every day. Even on a movie like Gone in Sixty Seconds. He became this quirky weirdo. He went out and put together a car. The whole bit. I thought the guy was nuts. Then I come to this. You know what I found out I was doing? I was going home with this character every day. A girlfriend of mine came out to spend two weeks with me. She left four days into it. She was like, "No way. I can't spend anymore time with you." I was all like, "What?" And she goes, "I see you on set, you come home. You can't relaz. You're all twitchy and jacked up on adrenaline." I'm like, "Shit, I've been running around smacking dudes upside the head." And she's like, "Yeah. Listen to the way you're talking." That was it. She split.            

B. Alan: You brought hime the Jersey accent?

Paul Walker: You gotta do it that way. I think people that live it, have to. There's no other way. That's how they do the job. I don't think there's any other way to do it.

B. Alan: I want to know how they did the puck scene.

Paul Walker: They had a foam puck that they fired at me a couple of times.

B. Alan: So it wasn't a CGI puck?

Paul Walker: No, the foam one they ended up using was so light and fluffy that the flight wasn't true to a real puck. So, actually, they did end up CGIing it. But when it first comes off the face of the stick, it's the foam puck. And then, smack! The continuation is CGI. You'll see it just get loft.

B. Alan: I couldn't tell. It looked like you were actually getting hit with something pretty hefty.

Paul Walker: You know what it was? The prosthetics they made were really good. And I had to sell the pain. I had to imagine seeing it. I had to imagine it flying through the air. I didn't have anything to track. But since it was so tight, creating a realistic eye-line where it came sailing in took a few cracks. Once we got it, the prosthetic pieces worked really good. Blood would come bursting out. Yeah, they CGI'd it in. It's crazy when they put that stuff together. I can't even tell that it's CGI. That shit looks real. People are asking, "Did you really take those pucks to the face." I'm like," Come on, use your head." 

B. Alan: I didn't really think you were taking pukes. It's just that they did it so well...

Paul Walker: I know you know. This is what you do for a living. But a lot of the people you run into in the streets have seen the trailer and they go, "Shit! They hit you in the face with pucks?" I'm like, "No, man. That stuff is fake."

B. Alan: What did you think about that scene where you battle with the pimp at the end?

Paul Walker: I liked it. I think, originally, they were talking about Michael Rappaport for the character. They thought he was perfect. But then he ended up being a real pain in the neck and pissed Wayne off. I don't know exactly what happened. Maybe I shouldn't open my mouth. But something happened. So, this other guy shows up. I'm like, "This guy doesn't look like a pimp." Then Wayne dressed him up. He made him like a cartoon character. That's all I kept saying, "Are you a fucking cartoon?" That's a perfect line. Wayne said, "I want this guy to be larger than life. I want him to be this quirky character." He is the Mad Hatter. You know; all those Fairy Tale references?   

B. Alan: The thing I noticed was that everybody at my screening got up and left, and then the end credit sequence comes on. And the end credits set up and retell the movie as if it were a Fairy Tale.

Paul Walker: Mm-hmm.

B. Alan: So, this is supposed to be like an Urban Fairytale?

Paul Walker: Mm-hmm.

B. Alan: So much stuff is going on in the movie that I didn't initially catch that idealism. I didn't even have time to think about it and put two and two together.

Paul Walker: I think it was more of an afterthought on his part. I think as things were going, and as characters were coming, and they were so much larger than life, Wayne recognized it. Something just hit him. He's like, "This guy's the Big Bad Wolf." And then certain character became bigger. And he started throwing out these different elements as time went on. Even in the Dinner. We're sitting in the Dinner. And my wife comes up to me. She says, "I know I didn't marry a bad man." That Dinner...If you look on the wall, the Cheshire Cat is all over the wallpaper. He's sort of throwing it in everywhere. And I didn't even hear about it until about three or four weeks into production. He built up the pimp character and made it even bigger. That guy's insane. Have you interviewed him yet?     

B. Alan: The pimp?

Paul Walker: No. Wayne.

B. Alan: Not yet. He hasn't come in here.

Paul Walker: I call him the Mad Scientist. That guy is out of his mind.

B. Alan: Where did the idea for the abducted kids come from?

Paul Walker: Wayne's crazy ass mind.

B. Alan: Your wife in the movie steals the show.

Paul Walker: I love it. She says something to the effect that she saw evil. "That's true evil."

B. Alan: I like that she actually does something proactive in that priceless scene she is given.

Paul Walker: Yeah. I told Wayne, "You know who has the best scene in this movie, don't ya?" He goes, "Who's that." I tell him, "It's Vera with the pedophile." That a horrible scene. It's just so awesome. Vera is my favorite.

B. Alan: You filmed this after Into The Blue?

Paul Walker: Yeah, right after. Because I was reading it while I was on the boat. This was defiantly a change of gears. Vera, I have a crush on her. She's one of the most awesome girls I've worked with. She really has it together. She's a real nice girl. I'm not talking about how good of an actress she is. You want to talk about keeper? That's Vera. 

B. Alan: What about the little kid that plays Oleg? I'm not sure what his name is, but he's so intense. He kind of creeps me out a little. Even in that other movie he was in with Nicole Kidman, Birth? Scary child. Is he like that off set?

Paul Walker: No. He's actually a nice kid. He likes to eat his boogers. And gross you out. And his pick his scabs. But he's tapped into something. That's what he's good at. And I'm sure he'll develp other things in time, but it's his eyes. I don't know what it is. He's super smart. He's really sharp. Alex Neuberger, the one that plays my kid in the movie, he just landed a real big movie. I think he's going to do real well. I talked to him on the phone the other day. His voice has dropped five octaves. I'm like, "Man, what is going on?" He goes, "Man, I'm like fourteen now." I'm like, "that's right. You're big."      

B. Alan: Are you a big Hockey fan?

Paul Walker: No. I grew up in So Cal. I like surfing. Football. Football was my sport. I was fast. I was a free safety.

B. Alan: Any predictions for the Super Bowl?

Paul Walker: Pittsburg. But I'm happy for the buzz...

B. Alan: You also have Eight Below coming out.

Paul Walker: Yeah. It comes out on the 17th. My daughter is dying to see that movie. It's funny, because I showed my mom the trailer that Wayne cut together for the AFM. Trying to sell this damn thing. And I went home and showed my mom. I was all excited. And he cut together a pretty graphic few minutes. My mom is horrified. But she can see that I'm really excited. She doesn't want to say what she's really thinking. She knew it was going to be bad. She says to me, "It would be great if you could do something that the kids could go see for a change." No joke, two weeks to the day, that Disney offer came. I'm one of these people that think certain things happen at certain times for all the right reasons.   

B. Alan: I got a question about that movie. In the commercials I've seen, there's this monster eel-type thing. I'm wondering what that is, because this is supposed to be based on a true story and that looks like something out of a horror film.

Paul Walker: It's CGI. But it's actually based on a Leopard Seal.

B. Alan: A Leopard Seal?

Paul Walker: That's what they really look like. And they're nasty boogers, too. Disney is going to whore me out big time. I've got to do so much press for that thing. Guaranteed.

B. Alan: What's the best thing about this process for you?

Paul Walker: Ah, that's the real question. I don't talk. I'm a quiet guy. And then when I get in these things I just start rambling. I don't hate junkets near as much as I used to. I used to have a really shitty attitude. And outlook about it. And I know a lot of actors do too. Which isn't good. You can sit there and grip about it, but you paid for this way back then. I told my manager that if the studio was smart, they'd spread the money out. Not just through the course of filming, but through press as well. They should spread the million dollars out over the next two years until the press is complete. That would cease a lot of the griping. And you'd have a lot more control. 

B. Alan: Are there a lot of times when you shoot a movie, and then two years later you have to go do press, and you don't even remember the movie?

Paul Walker: That has happened.

B. Alan: Do you like improvisation, or do you like taking directions from the director?

Paul Walker: It depends. I just worked with Clint Eastwood. This past fall. That guy gives no direction.

B. Alan: Really?

Paul Walker: Yeah. It's minimal. He'll question why you do things. For instance, I had the very first line during the production. We were shooting on this sulfuric island. It just stinks. It smells like a freaking rotten egg. So we storm the beach. And my character goes, "Ah, this place stinks." It was written to be said like Tom Sizemore in Black Hawk Down. Or Robert Duvall with his "Charlie Don't Surf". Hands on the hips, belting it out. Shit, that's not real. I had Japanese guys shooting at me from the other side. I'm hunkered down. I said the line under my breath, "God, this place stinks". Eastwood didn't even hear it in the midst of all the gun fire. And he goes, "Did you say your line?" And I'm like, "Yeah". He says, "I didn't hear you." And I'm like, "That's because I said it to myself. I said it under my breath." He's like, "Why?" I told him what I told you guys. And he says, "Good answer. Fuck it. Say it under your breath." That was it. When the guy's on top, you always kiss his ass. Even if he's a prick. I always heard good things about Clint. I wanted to see what was really up. That guy is so solid. And it's cool to see, because if anybody had a right to be a prick or a pain in the ass, that guy does. He doesn't just want to be the man, he is the man. You walk away from that set thinking, "This guy knows how to make movies." He has his act together. He's cool. He's really complementary.

B. Alan: On the other side of that, did they actually have the Japanese crew shooting at the same time?

Paul Walker: No. They were shooting at different times. He's working on that right now.

B. Alan: Well, great. Great talking to you.

Paul Walker: Yeah. Thanks for coming out.

And that's the End. Look at my Interview with Running Scared Director Wayne Kramer coming to these pages soon. Bitches.


Walker stars as Joey Gazelle plays a mobster who, in order to save his family, must track down his neighbor’s son and get back a gun that was used in a mob hit before it’s recovered by either the cops or his bosses.

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Paul Walker's Closer to His "Running Scared" Character Than You’d Assume: Writer/director Wayne Kramer said people may mistake Walker for a laidback surfer, which he is on some level, however he’s also a very tough guy you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of in a barroom fight.

Walker said his "Running Scared" character is actually closer to his personality than any other character he’s played.

"I think it’s probably the closest thing to me, to be honest with you. I mean the opposite is what, East Coast/West Coast thing? But I think attitude and that sort of thing, I think, you know, there’s no way I would have gone at it if I didn’t feel like there’s a lot of me in it. There’s definitely more of me in it than not. I think on the outside what people see and what I present, especially when I’m doing press… But what they’ve seen in movies, they’ve seen the friendly like nice guy, which I like to think that I am. But I definitely have a dark side. I think everybody does."

Paul Walker Couldn’t Shake This Character: Walker told me he took this guy home with him every night. "I’ve never been the guy that brought anything home but when you’re forced to just reach certain levels. I mean, the only way to sell adrenaline and flying high is just to go there. You live it day in and day out. You can’t shut that off. I’d go home trembling. A girl friend of mine came up to visit and she planned on spending some time with me. She spent four days with me and went home. She’s like, ‘You’re just too intense.’ I couldn’t relax."

Paul Walker on the Challenges of "Running Scared:" Walker’s in great shape and that helped immensely when he was preparing to play Joey Gazelle. "My lifestyle’s active. Attitude is attitude, whether you’re a West Coast gangster or East Coast gangster, you know? I grew up in the Valley and, you know, it’s mixed racially. I had Latino friends. I had black friends. And they thought they were thugs. A lot of them weren’t half the thug they thought they were, always getting into trouble. But I know the attitude. I know the personality.

My dad’s a biker and all the guys he comes around, most of them have got priors. They’re been in and out of the joint, you know? Those are the guys I grew up around so there’s a lot to pull from. And then, you know, I worked with Chazz Palminteri. He’s in this movie and I worked with him on ‘Noel.’ You know, he’s got his mobster crew buddies out there."

Walker also had "Running Scared" actor Arthur Nascarella around to help him out. "I had guys to pull from at any given time. If there was ever a time I wasn’t comfortable with what I had to say, they were right there. They were the bulls**t police for me, which was great. I grew up on gangster movies. I loved the mobsters, man. I mean growing up as a kid it was cowboys and Indians and it was mobsters. That’s an American childhood, you know? Those are the movies you grew up on."

Paul Walker on His Family Life Growing Up: "My family’s really close. Growing up as a kid, let’s put it this way. You know kids. As boys, you would engage in ‘Oh, my dad’s tougher than your dad. My dad has a shotgun. You know? I wouldn’t even play. I was like, ‘My dad would kill every one of your dads.’ I knew it. My father’s a protector. My father’s old-school. He’s a cowboy. He’s not much when it comes to words of wisdom and just the pat on the back, he’s not very good. He’s a drill sergeant. He’s a Vietnam Vet. This is the mentality, this is the household I came up in."

Paul Walker Understands the Violence of Running Scared: "Hey look, people are going to think I’m sick and I’m twisted but when I read it I didn’t think that there was anything that was unjustified. I’m sorry but this guy dug himself a hole, and he dug his family a hole in the process. He’ll be damned if anything is going to happen to him. And besides, who’s he smokin’? Who’s he whacking along the way? They’re bad guys. The world isn’t going to miss them. So the whole way I’m going, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, do it!’ I’m reading this thing, I’m going, ‘Yeah, f**king kill that guy!’

The pedophiles? [Spoiler deleted] Come on! That’s my favorite scene in the movie and the best thing about it is that the people who don’t get it, absolutely hate it.

They go, ‘That scene just completely came out of left field.’ I’m like, ‘You’re missing the point because that’s the whole idea.’ That’s my favorite scene. When I read it I said to Wayne, I said to Vera [Farmiga], I said, ‘I’m so jealous of you. That’s the most memorable scene in the movie.’"

Paul Walker Watched Out for His Young Co-Stars: Walker felt responsible for the young actors in "Running Scared." "Oh yeah, especially to the parents. I mean, they signed on to it knowing what they’re getting themselves into but still, you know, that’s got to be tough. I wanted to make it very clear that, ‘I understand what’s going on here and I understand that you’ve accepted the environment that basically your kids are going to be in for the next while, but just know that I’m sensitive to it and I’m great with kids. I come from a huge family. I’ve got nieces, nephews. I’m Peter Pan. S**t, I feel like I’m 12, 13 years-old anyway (laughing) so I’m going to get along just fine with these kids.’

My whole point was, and I thought it was really important, was, ‘Let’s stay focused.’ We have a job at hand here but I’m sensitive to the fact that these kids are out of school, they’re away from friends. I’ve got a football. I’ve got a soccer ball. I got everything. And you know what? It’s good too because I establish, I build a rapport with these kids; I want them to feel comfortable around me. And who’s to say Joey Gazelle wouldn’t go toss the football with Oleg anyways, so it all plays in."

Paul Walker Shares His Admiration for Writer/Director Wayne Kramer: Walker and Kramer were present to introduce a special screening of "Running Scared" in San Francisco and while doing so, Walker said Kramer’s a director he’d work with again and again and again. Asked why, Walker replied, "He’s such a great guy. First and foremost, that’s the most important thing to me. I’ll work with a great guy that maybe even hasn’t proven himself before I’ll work with the a**hole that’s sold it time and time again. You know, you live once. I want to enjoy things. To find the balance that he’s got, it doesn’t happen. He’s Fincher , he’s any of those guys. I think Wayne’s going to blow up. He’s going to make a lot of great movies in the course of who knows how many years. I just hope to be involved in a lot of them.

You know, I’m a pretty mellow guy. I’m pretty easy-going. I see everyone’s perspective. I see everyone’s side so I’m a pretty good mediator on set when tensions are flying. That guy is tenacious and he fights. I think we complement each other in that respect. I’m pretty good at soothing him and mellowing him out, but at the same time I want to give him just enough so when it’s crunch time, when we’ve got five minutes left to get a shot he’s going, ‘F**k you! I’m getting this damn shot!’ I’m going, ‘Yeah!,’ in the back. I’m rooting but at the same time when I see it getting out of control I can step up and say, ‘Hey look’ I think we work well together. Nobody messes with this guy’s movie. Nobody messes with his movie."

From "Running Scared" to "Eight Below:" The family-friendly movie Eight Below hit theaters one week before "Running Scared." It’s an interesting contrast in characters for Walker. "Well I did ‘Running Scared,’ what, close to 2 years ago now. Wayne cut together the trailer for AFM, trying to sell the damn thing. I was so excited, hot off the presses, I run home, I show my mother. She just about started crying. She says to me, ‘You know what would be great? If you could make a movie that you can take your nieces and nephews" not to mention your daughter too.’ Two weeks later to the day, Disney offered me the ‘Eight Below’ script. F**k, I didn’t want to go make ‘Snow Dogs.’ I’ve already seen that. When I read it I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is ‘Old Yeller’.’ I liked it and I got it, so I was like, ‘Hell with it.’ I’m off the hook. I get to take my daughter, all my nieces and nephews, the whole family to the premiere. It’s one premiere I’m actually looking forward to going to. This is the first time, to be honest with you."

Paul Walker on Working with the Huskies and Malamutes of "Running Scared:" "It was great. It was cool. I love dogs. If you like dogs, you get it. If you don’t, you don’t get it."

February 2006 - About.Com

Paul Walker Talks About "Running Scared"

The Paul Walker Haters - Wayne Kramer, Vera Farmiga and Walker Himself

Running Scared Director Wayne Kramer on the Paul Walker Haters: "I wasn’t one of the Paul Walker haters, and that’s one of the things. I’m real up front about it. It seems like somewhat of an obstacle in getting this film out there is there’s this preconceived notion that Paul’s not a good actor or that Paul is kind of surfer boy mentality. There are so many people when you see them posting on the internet, they’re not willing to cut him a break and go and see the film in good faith that this is a defining Paul Walker performance which I think it is."

Paul Walker on Hating Other Actors: "I did the same thing growing up. I couldn't stand like Keanu Reeves or Christian Slater or all those guys that all the girls had crushes on. I hated them. Even if I liked them I hated them. So that's just the way that it works."

Wayne Kramer on Actors Overcoming the Haters: "Brad Pitt was just like some pretty abs when he did Thelma and Louise and then he started finding himself in roles like in Kalifornia and Se7en and people saw him for the strong actor he is."

Paul Walker on Winning Over the Paul Walker Haters: "Winning them over isn't easy. Coming out of the gate with Fast and Furious I did pretty well and especially with minorities. I mean, I'm blonde hair and blue eyes and Latino and Black guys like me which is great. White guys do not though. That's just the way that it works."

Wayne Kramer on Actors Who Still Face Haters: "Keanu Reeves is probably the highest paid actor of all time with the Matrix sequels, so it’s like a success level that people are just not willing to give him credit. I do think Paul in this movie, when people finally see it, if they’re resistant to seeing this in the theater, they one day catch it on cable or DVD, they’re going to go, ‘I have to give him his due in this film.’"

Vera Farmiga on Paul Walker in Running Scared: "I really had no preconceptions except for what I saw in the media which was always this sort of golden boy, good looking and he is. He’s a very good looking man. And it disservices him sometimes as it does for women. He’s never been given an opportunity, a three dimensional character. It wasn’t surprising to me because when I met him, I met an engaging man who was ready to play and put his dukes up and take me for a spin too."

Wayne Kramer on Paul Walker Getting Dark in Running Scared: "Everybody has their obstacles that they’ve got to get beyond but I have to give Paul so much credit for doing what I consider a very provocative film. I know other actors were afraid to take on the role because it involved and amoral character, children and violence and the whole thing. Actors more today than ever I find are so conscious of their image and the way that it’s projected through films. It’s not like in the ‘70s where Nicholson or Warren Beatty would go play scumbags or killers."

Vera Farmiga on Paul Walker's Creativity in Running Scared's Love Scene: "We had this thing on the written page, it was maybe an inch of dialogue and I said, ‘Paul, we’ve got to establish this marital relationship of 11 years.’ Granted, sex I’m sure isn’t like that every day of the week for the Gazelles, but on this particular day when he’s just come from this insane nightmare, he just wants to touch the things that are dearest to him. And in order for the rest of the movie to work, to care about this family, I think you had to establish the love between them."

Paul Walker on the Love Scene with Vera Farmiga in Running Scared: "You know what's funny, this is the second time that I've made it on a washing machine with my butt exposed. I did it in Varsity Blues too. I'm like, 'Man. I don't know what it is. I'm an undercover cop and I've got my butt out here involving washing appliances once a year.' It's funny. It's a butt. Do you know what I mean? It's not really that big of a deal."

Wayne Kramer on Paul Walker's Grit in Running Scared: "When I met with Paul, I was less concerned with how ethnic he looked as Joey as more did he have the grit to him. He had just a toughness behind the eyes is the way I like to describe it. He will stand up to anybody and in fact, I think Paul in this film is closer to who the real Paul is than the perception of him that’s out there. He comes from a family where his father was a biker and a boxer. Paul’s a very tough guy. He’s very athletic. There’s strength in him and there’s darkness in him and he’s a great guy. He’s the easiest actor in the world to work with but I would not want to get on the wrong side of him in a bar fight.

"It’s like the old Roger Moore stories where Roger Moore would go in a bar and they’d go, ‘You’re not tough like James Bond.’ I think Roger Moore would back down. Paul’s not going to do that. You don’t want to trip that wire and that’s what I tapped into. There’s a craziness, there’s a trip wire quality behind the eyes that I think serves this role so well.

"I just spoke with him a lot and he had a real appreciation for the genre. We talked about all my influences and turned out were films he loved. Films by Brian De Palma, Walter Hill, Sam Peckinpagh, Don Siegel, Michael Mann. He was aching to do a film like that and to take himself out of the PG-13 genre that he’d been so constricted by."


November 2005 - Chik (Australia)

Boy you know

Paul Walker

You've seen him all sweaty and buff in films like Fast and the Furious and Varsity Blues. But in his new film Into The Blue, Paul plays the role of a diver, which means he spends a hellava lot of time with his shirt off. Insert swoon here.


He LOVES cars: "When I'm in a car, forget about it," he laughs. "I'll really push the limit. I'm really into racing and probably one of the sweetest things about doing The Fast and the Furious series is that I am now totally accommodated by Mitsubishi! They might even be backing me up with a racing team."

He loves animals and has three pets - including a dog named Zero and a horse called Cowboy.

His favourite down-time activity is surfing. If Paul's not making a movie, he surfs every single day. "Surfing soothes me," he explains. "It's always been a kind of zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I'm on a wave."

He's totally, 100%, unpretentious. "Some people say that you should go to all the parties; to the nightclubs; the Viper Room, and make contacts, and I look at them and say, 'You don't want to have contacts with those people'. Look at what happened to River Phoenix [who died in 1993 of a drug overdose outside the Viper Room]." If you get caught up in that, it ruins you. Hollywood is garbage."


Paul did some serious research for his role in Into The Blue - he studied marine biology at university in Southern California. Well, he actually did that of his own accord, but it certainly must have come in handy! (Into The Blue hits cinemas Oct 20th.)

His mum was a model - so he has her to thank for his great looks! Paul actually got his big break into movies though his own career in modelling.

He was really disappointed when Vin Diesel dropped out of the FATF sequel. He told an American mag that it hurt his feelings because he considered the two of them partners. Awwww...

He loves travelling and has been to places like India, Fiji and Costa Rica - not to mention Australia's fine shores.

He gets embarrassed watching himself in movies, so he only looks at them once.

His grandpa was a professional boxer ... hmm, Paul as a toned-up boxer - now there's an idea for a movie!


September 2001 The Sunday Telegraph (Australia)

Reluctant Star Steps Into The Fast Lane

His mother dragged him to auditions as a youngster but PAUL WALKER prefers surfing to stardom. Phillip Koch reports.

With fame knocking on his door and a bigger bank balance than he ever hoped for, Paul Walker knows most people think he is living a dream.

"I’d like to slow down a bit," admits Walker, 27. "My life kicks arse. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I’ve been completely spoiled," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

The blond-haired, blue-eyed Southern Californian is the star of the new film, Fast And Furious, which also features VIN DIESEL.

The irony of needing to slow down, while he is on a whirlwind world tour to promote the high speed thriller, is lost on the affable actor.

"It’s my first time here," explains Walker, who grew up watching Australian greats like TOM CARROLL and MARK POTTER ride waves.

"I grew up surfing in Southern California. I won’t have any time to surf this time but I’m going to come back in October. I’ll have to hit every coastal town."

Walker, who lives on a sailboat with his girlfriend and two-year-old daughter, Meadow, also seems to have a classic surfer’s laid back attitude to life.

"My job is a friggin joke in reality," he laughs.

"In this movie for instance, I had to play a cop, which I think every normal boy at one time or another has dreamed of doing.

"At the same time I got to play a race car driver and I got to make out with a beautiful girl and I got to shoot a gun and I got paid to do it!"

"It’s crazy. There are times when it’s like a day job. It’s trying and the hours are miserable and you have a hard time getting out of bed some days. But really, my job is a joke.

"To me it’s not like a real job. I grew up doing manual labor. My summers were spent picking up scrap, hammering nails, putting shingles on a roof. That’s like real work.

"I always thought of acting as being a bit of a La La Land job. Now that I’m doing it I can tell you it really is a joke."

Walker said it was never his dream to act but rather his parents, particularly his model mother, a distraction from routine life in the suburbs.

"They were always kind of pushing me," he said.

"It has become my dream but it wasn’t my dream. I would have never thought I would end up being a bona fide actor."

His mother started taking him to auditions when he was just two years old, but Walker lost interest and stopped acting for several years.

But after two years living out of cars and flopping on friends’ couches, he ended his self-imposed exile from Hollywood.

A casting director who remembered him from childhood, gave him his first big break when he cast him in the US television series, Touched By An Angel.

It led to a role in The Skulls, Pleasantville and Varsity Blues and rekindled his interest in acting and Hollywood’s interest in him.

Universal, the studio which made Fast And Furious, even compare Paul to BRAD PITT  though he is not very comfortable with the compliment.

"It is definitely a compliment but I like the first Paul Walker better," he said.

"The reality is, because of the teen audience, I am where I am. I think some people find me attractive the blond-haired blue-eyed All-American."

"I think there comes a point in time where you establish enough clout and credibility and have a big enough name to pick and choose what you do."

Walker is almost at that point now. He is trying to buy the rights to a novel to make a western with Pearl Harbour director, JERRY BRUCKHEIMER, with some of the bounty his film career has already reaped.

"One of the most bizarre realizations after this film opened and did well, it has pretty much guaranteed I won’t have to worry about finances again," he said. "You think about people working their entire life to balance their cheque books.

"I might not have to worry about that particular aspect again. It feels really good but it’s surreal at the same time.

"I would have never thought in a million years that I’d be in the position I am in right now. It was just something I did as a hobby. I wanted to be a marine biologist, that’s what I really wanted to do."

Fast And Furious opens in cinemas on September 20.


September 2001 TV Hits (Australia)

Life In The Fast Lane

Talent To Burn

PAUL WALKER is stepping it up a gear. His foot is pressed flat to the pedal and he’s riding the fast track to fame.

Like Brad Pitt before him, Paul’s poster-boy looks and magnetic screen presence have marked him as Hollywood’s next big thing.

After cruising through roles in Pleasantville, She’s All That, Varsity Blues and The Skulls, Paul’s move into male lead territory in The Fast and the Furious is being hailed as his breakthrough performance.

In the non-stop action movie, which also stars VIN DIESEL, MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ and JORDANA BREWSTER, Paul plays an undercover cop who enters the hot-blooded world of drag racing. On the dark streets of LA, Paul’s character is out to bust some bad-ass criminals while driving like a speed demon and falling for a beautiful girl. "It doesn’t get much cooler than that," he says.

Paul’s passion for cars continues in the upcoming Joyride, which co-stars LEELEE SOBIESKI. But in the meantime he’s keeping himself busy promoting The Fast and the Furious, which hopefully will lead him to Australia. "At the moment, they’ve told me that I get to go Australia around the end of October which will be awesome. I’ve said I don’t mind doing worldwide publicity as long as I get extended stays in each cities I go to," says the self-confessed beach bum.

While Paul gets ready to pack his bags for Australia, TV HITS corners him for a chat about living life in the fast lane.

Is The Fast and the Furious the kind of movie you would go and see?

" I’m always super-critical, especially the first time I see any of my movies, but this is the kind of movie I’d go and see. To me, movies are entertainment not brain surgery.

Did you ever want to be a race car driver when you were little?

" Yeah, I grew up with my head under the hood of the car.

I own a ’67 Chevy and a ’66 Buick Skylark which are classic American muscle cars, so being able to drive around in fast cars for this movie was awesome.

Did you ever race cars?

" When I was in high school I used to go to drag races and I was once chased by the cops. But later on in high school I had a pick-up truck, so I couldn’t race it.

Since this movie I’ve bought a Nissan Skyline imported from Japan and I race all the time.

Some of your scenes look incredibly dangerous. Did you have a stunt double?

" There is a scene where I’m driving along and I have to try and jump onto a truck. I did everything except for the actual jump, but I was hanging out the top of that car which was going about 170 kilometers an hour and I can tell you my heart was pounding!

In the US, the movie has already been criticized by police for encouraging copycat drivers to emulate the characters in the film. What do you think about real-life street racing? " I hope what people get about this movie is that what these kids do is illegal. But I don’t think there’s any need for it to be illegal. These kids aren’t racing around in broad daylight on a freeway. They’re racing in the early hours of the morning when no-one’s on the street and they close off the road.

These kids don’t have a track to race at and I sympathize with that, because growing up I skateboarded all the time and cops were always busting me, telling me I couldn’t skate anywhere.

Still, you have to be careful as there’s always the chance that when you get behind the wheel of a car you’re gonna end up in a mess.

Have you been in a lot of trouble with the police?

" I’ve had my fair share of trouble.

Are you good at getting out of trouble? " I just smile a lot. Not too long ago I was dying to date this she, but she’d been dating another guy. When I finally had a date with her I didn’t want to be late so I drove in a truck lane and was pulled over by a California highway patrol car. I told them the story and they let me go!

In the film, were you nervous about your kissing scene with Jordana Brewster?

" We ended up getting along really well, but I was thinking, "She’s beautiful, but is she going to be cool?" The only thing that bothered me was the rumor that Mark Wahlberg, who was dating her at that time, was going to show up on the set! But everything was cool.

Are you a jealous person? I don’t think I’m a jealous guy. When I kiss other women, it’s just my job. But it’s hard not to get a little jealous. Here, I was making out with Jordana Brewster, and my girlfriend knew how beautiful she was and I was like, "Don’t worry about it, I’m into you" and she says to me, "Reverse the situation. How would you feel?"

I can sympathise, there’s no way I’d want my girlfriend making out with some guy, even if they are just touching lips.

Do you prefer to date actresses?  This industry is pretty wacky so I need someone more stable. Actors are freaks. I don’t know if they are born that way or if the industry makes you that way, it’s probably a little bit of both. I like to hook up with them every now and then, but I stay away for the most part.

What do you look for in a girl? I like girls who are earthy and natural, I’m not into girls who wear too much make-up. I like girls who are into the beach and who love animals and kids.

Do you hang out at the beach a lot? I spend a lot of time on the beach. I love surfing, martial arts and snowboarding but I also play a lot of basketball and beach volleyball.

My daughter [Paul has a two-year-old daughter, Meadow, from a previous relationship] who loves the beach too, so that makes it easy when it’s my turn to babysit her for the day. I took her out for the first time on my long board recently, I put her in a life vest and she loved it. My daughter inspires me in a big way, I love being a dad!

Would you like your daughter to become an actress? She’s my little Sarah MacLachlan! I ordered a custom-made guitar for her second birthday because I’m really bitter at my parents for not placing an instrument in my hands when I was a kid.

I’ve always loved music and Meadow’s mother loves music, so I’ve put this guitar above her bed. I told her she can take it down on her fifth birthday!

What does her guitar look like? The top side is orange, the flip side is blue, one side is green and one side is purple. It has a dragonfly and a butterfly on it, and snowflakes and cool flowers on the fingerboard. It’s the coolest guitar.

What’s your guitar like? It’s not as cool as my daughter’s. I’ve been playing the guitar for several years now and I’d love to start a band. We’ll play reggae, hard rock and some poppy stuff, too.