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Fast and Furious made Paul Walker’s dreams real in a “bizarre” way

Playing Brian O'Conner in the Fast franchise was a dream come true for Paul Walker, but the way he got the role is stranger than fiction.


Sometimes, fate has a funny way of making your dreams come true — and for Paul Walker, that particular dream came through a quarter mile at a time.

The actor, who played Brian O’Conner in seven Fast and Furious movies, revealed how he manifested the role for himself in a 2001 interview with Access Hollywood. Three months before he was invited to be part of the Fast and Furious cast, the actor was asked on the set of The Skulls what his best movie role would be, to which Walker recalls saying, “I’ve always liked the idea of playing a cop. Three months later, they came to me with this idea.”

There’s no way Walker could have predicted what happened next, as director Rob Cohen approached him three months later with his idea.

“The way it came about was really bizarre, they came to me and presented this idea, that’s all it was at the time,” he explained. While Cohen used real-life inspiration for Fast and Furious, getting the idea from a newspaper article, it was still very early days in the film’s production when Walker got involved.

They didn’t even have a screenplay, they didn’t have anything,” the Fast and Furious character actor added. The lack of screenplay meant Walker was worried about jumping the gun too soon, but he admitted while his head was telling him not to, his heart was urging him to do it. So, that’s exactly what he did.

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Over twenty years later, Walker’s legacy in the Fast and Furious movie franchise very much lives on. There was no one more perfect to play Brian O’Conner, as his love for driving and cars definitely shined through on screen. It’s because of his performance and on-screen chemistry with Vin Diesel that Fast and Furious remains one of the best action movie franchises to this day.

For more on Fast and Furious, check out our guide to when the new movie in the franchise, Fast and Furious 11 will arrive. Then, immerse yourself in more high-stakes adventures with our guides to the best spy movies, best thriller series, and best thriller movies.