After the tragic death of Paul Walker on Saturday, there has been a tremendous outpouring of grief and memories of the late actor, heralding his qualities as a friend and father. But one colleague, Wayne Kramer, who directed him in 2006’s Running Scared, wants the world to know about Walker, the consummate actor. He posted a lengthy tribute on his Facebook page, praising Walker’s work ethic, his unifying on-set behavior, and his multi-faceted life.
“A filmmaker could not ask for a better or more supportive collaborator than Paul,” wrote Kramer. “So many people who knew him will talk about what a great human being he was – and they would be right; everybody who met him instantly loved him – but I want to talk about what a great actor he was.” (Kramer also directed Walker in 2013’s Pawn Shop Chronicles.)
The director reminisced on how Walker deftly and gracefully handled some on-set mishaps. “During Running Scared, he spent seven days shooting a grueling action scene on a real ice rink and, at least, five of those days he had his face pushed down into the ice, to the point that his flesh was literally stuck to the surface of the ice — and he never ever complained about it,” he shared.
Kramer also wrote of Walker’s sweet demeanor with adoring fans while filming Running Scared, “there must have been a few hundred kids mobbing him for his autograph. He stayed and signed for everyone of them.”
He felt that Walker’s best years as an actor were still to come: “I always told Paul that his most exciting years were going to be his 40s and 50s, and even beyond, as a masculine American tough guy in the vein of Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin.”
And the director also shared his thoughts on how Walker died, (in the passenger seat, with Roger Rodas, the CEO of Always Evolving in the driver seat): “What kills me about the way Paul died (and I know he wasn’t driving) is that Paul was an amazing driver. He was every bit as good, if not better, than the stunt drivers he worked with. I’ve been on the set where the stunt drivers couldn’t nail it and he had to do the stunt for them.”
“He was doing some of the most amazing sh– in ‘real life’ and living his life to the fullest like no one else I know… He was an iconoclast that the world didn’t really know outside of the Fast and Furious films,” he wrote. Read the rest of Kramer’s touching tribute on his Facebook page.