Besides the obvious, of course—that he was so young, talented and handsome. And how horribly ironic it was that he died in a freak car crash.
But if you look at all the outpouring of prayers and sentiments on Facebook and Twitter (and I’m sure on Instagram as well—I wouldn’t know because I don’t have that one) it seems to me that people from all walks of life are really feeling it. Including the ones who–like me—haven’t even been able to sit through an entire Fast and Furious movie, despite the fact that Paul Walker was arguably the most classically handsome actor of his generation. (Note that I used the word “classically”—I am not trying to start a debate here.) I would also argue that MOST of the male demographic who contributed to the Fast and Furious worldwide box office numbers and DVD sales weren’t doing it to watch Paul Walker.
So he was young, one of the handsomest men on earth, had one of the lead roles in an over $2 billion movie franchise that was still going, surely had enough money to buy and show off multiple over-the-top houses and yet…we never heard about him. Until now.
I think that’s the key here.
For over seven years I’ve had subscriptions to at least three juicy tabloids to keep the peace in my waiting room, and I’ve never seen him on the cover of a single one. (Yes, of course I look at them too.)
He lived here in L.A. and could have been a ripe paparazzi target, and yet I don’t ever recall seeing one of those disparaging just-rolled-out-of-bed-in-broad-daylight photos.
His name was never attached to a messy, well-publicized divorce or child custody suit (even though they do mention now that he had a teenage daughter and has been separated from the mother for many years.)
He wasn’t ever caught playing bongo drums in the nude, or getting a DUI.
We never heard about him “canoodling” with his co-stars.
He wasn’t a tortured artist constantly in and out of rehab.
And he was never part of an obvious publicity stunt, like getting pulled over for speeding the week before the premiere of his latest franchise installment.
It’s only my opinion, but I think this is the reason that Paul Walker’s death hits home with so many of us who–until yesterday–didn’t even know who he was:
His absence from the limelight for all these years of his success gives us the impression that not only was he simply an actor who did his job , but that he was a nice guy. A good person. If you can get past his amazing face and body, you can see it in his eyes:
Rest in Peace, Paul Walker