Paul Walker’s Most Memorable Movies

A look back at 5 of Paul Walker's most memorable roles
A look back at 5 of Paul Walker's most memorable roles

Paul Walker’s death is truly tragic, not just for what he left behind—a teenaged daughter, as well as brokenhearted family, friends and fans—but for what was ahead for the actor. Walker was just 40, in the midst of filming a seventh instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise, and just weeks away from the release of a passion project, the Hurricane Katrina-set Hours.

Walker gave us many memorable film roles—here are five that we’ll never forget:

Pleasantville (1998)

A smart and somewhat underrated social commentary, Pleasantville still works as a reflection of our society’s attitudes towards, and often rejection of, changing values. Paul Walker played Skip Martin, captain of the high school basketball team and the first Pleasantville resident to see color—after an uncharacteristically racy date with Reese Witherspoon’s Mary Sue. It’s a typical heartthrob role, but Walker ‘s over-the-top cheeriness makes it truly memorable.

Varsity Blues (1998)

Walker traded basketball for football in his next film, taking on the role of quarterback and captain of a small-town high school team. It’s too bad his character had to get injured to make way for James Van Der Beek to save the day—but his role in this lovable teen drama was crucial and unforgettable.

She’s All That (1999)

For his next role, Walker went a little less “high school hero” and a little more “meathead jock.” Not only did his character, Dean, initiate the bet that’s central conflict of the movie, but when ugly duckling Laney (Rachel Leigh Cook) finds out and dumps Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Dean swoops in to try to hook up with Laney while she’s on the rebound. How could we forget such a finely crafted high school villain?

The Fast and the Furious (2001)

It’s almost a shame the Fast and Furious franchise got so huge, since it became the defining role of Walker’s career and likely left him typecast for years. But these were genuinely good films—particularly the first one—that were a lot of fun to watch, and Walker’s gritty undercover cop was the glue that held them together and kept them from devolving into pure B-movie cheese.

Into the Blue (2005)

Paul Walker and Jessica Alba frolicking in the tropics—even if there was no plot to speak of we could be excused for enjoying Into the Blue. But with a fast-paced, action-packed story involving drugs, sunken treasure, kidnapping and sharks, we hardly got a moment to sit back and appreciate the beautiful scenery—who are we kidding, we appreciated the hell out of that scenery!

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Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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