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Fast and Furious made Paul Walker start actual car racing

Paul Walker was at the heart of the Fast and Furious franchise before his untimely passing, and it looks like the film series influenced his life too

Paul Walker in Furious 7

For Fast and Furious cast member Paul Walker, his love of cars started long before he got a role in the action movie franchise.

“Growing up, there were always Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Automobile magazines around the house, and in high school I used to go to the drag races all the time,” Walker said in a Tribute interview on the set of 2 Fast 2 Furious.

Unlike Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious character Dom Toretto, Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor, wasn’t initially part of the underground drag racing scene — he was an undercover cop. But as O’Connor got a taste for the fast life in the films, Walker also became more and more inspired to try car racing for himself — and ended up becoming licensed in circuit racing shortly after wrapping work on the 2000s movie. “I’ve gone into circuit racing and I’m actually going to be licensed just shortly after finishing this film,” he added.

In the interview, Walker also discussed his imposter syndrome working on the first Fast and Furious movie, and spoke about his enthusiasm for working on future installments of the thriller movie series. “Up until recently, I just thought I was the luckiest guy in the world and it was just a matter of time that people found me out and I wouldn’t be doing this much longer,” he said.

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“But with the success of the first Fast and Furious, I’m like, ‘Whoa, man! I think you should really start enjoying this now because, if you want, you could potentially stay around as long as you like.'” Walker ended up starring in seven Fast and Furious movies before passing away in 2013, while in the Fast and Furious universe, his character Brian O’Connor lives on.

To find out more about the latest film in the series, check out our guide to Fast and Furious 10.