Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

SXSW: 'Hours' Star Paul Walker on Finally Getting Serious About Acting and Driving Vin Diesel "F*cking Crazy"

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire March 19, 2013 at 5:08PM

Despite the massive worldwide success of the "Fast and the Furious" action series (the sixth installment comes out this summer), its headlining star Paul Walker hasn't emerged as a Hollywood star independent of the franchise. As he revealed to Indiewire at the recently wrapped SXSW Film Festival in Austin (he was there in support of his indie thriller "Hours"), much of that has to do with the fact he didn't want to become one in the first place. Now as a newly single father, Walker is set on changing that tune.
8


"I think I’m just playing a little more now and I never wanted to before. To be honest with you I wanted it to all go away."

You’re having quite the year with so many films coming up. Do you feel like you’re experiencing a second coming of sorts?

No, I think I’m just playing a little more now and I never wanted to before. To be honest with you, I wanted it to all go away.

Why’s that?

I wanted to be a marine biologist.

I read you went to school for that.

Yeah, I always wanted to use it so I figured out ways to make that happen. I’ve got projects developing right now. Jean-Michel Cousteau, who’s the son of my idol Jacques Cousteau. We’re working together and I’m working with Michael Domeier. I’ve been doing shark research and we’ve been doing tidal stuff and more educational stuff with Jean-Michel, which is fun. We’re going to schools and talking with kids -- I get to have my kid with me, too.

Because of what I represent to certain people, because of what I’ve been labeled as in this world as an actor, it allows me just a little more access. Kids listen to me more. I could use that to my advantage. I fell in love with the ocean when I was just a little kid, four or five years old, I was a junior ranger, I was going out and doing intertidal stuff, walking around and sticking my finger in my first sea anemone and picking up starfish and all that. It gripped me when I was young. So Jean-Michel comes, he’s sort of like minded with that, like you get them young and hold them forever. So just taking more advantage of that and running with that mindset, it’s fun.

Is the reason you're busier than ever on the acting front because you're more secure in the other areas of your life/career?

To me, I have a daughter that’s 14 years old. I’ve always been more of a transient sort of dude, I’ve always gone with the energy and the way it takes me. And she’s living full time with me now; I’m a full-time single father as of this past fall. This opportunity’s been put in my lap so I want to seize it, I want to make it work. And if it isn’t exactly what I want then I want to figure out a way to make it that. So all this information I’m sharing with you and where I’ve been on this journey, that’s open conversation. I mean we talk about it all the time. She’s getting to a place now where she’s trying to figure out who she, what she is in this world, forming a sense of identity, trying to find her sense of purpose, her style and all this stuff. So I think it’s the more we talk about it, this is just kind of life’s path.

Everyone’s in a difference at different times, everyone learns in his or her own time whatever it is they’re supposed to learn and what’s supposed to be revealed to them. It’s cool, she gets it, she appreciates it. She’s here with me at the festival. She gets into it, she wants to go into environmental law right now. That’ll change next week. It’s a fun time for both of us and she’s a cool partner, she’s the best partner I’ve ever had.

I’m getting the sense that you embrace acting more now as a kind of artistic endeavor?

Yeah, I think it, you know there’s different challenges in it. It was never something I really wanted, I didn’t have to work for it. Do you really appreciate it when something’s just handed to you? It was handed to me at an early age and I realized that unless you really take control of it and own it, it’s always going to feel that way. Whether you’re coming in as a producer or just coming in as an actor, just bring what you can bring. Whether it’s just mindset, as a producer I feel that's a big part of what I bring into it. I’m a problem solver, I love people. The more complicated they are the more I get into them and I just want to understand what makes them tick.

Fast and Furious 6

I have a way of just being ice, and just cooling situations and making things work. It’s important to me. I’ve always taken it that way as an actor. I’m really sensitive too and it’s as important to me. Life’s too fucking short. What we’re doing is pretty cool, but let’s make sure we’re having fun doing it. And it’s important to me that people feel appreciated because that’s when you get the best in people. Give people ownership, give them the pat on the back, give them the kudos they deserve. It’s the same token if someone’s slacking, you know you can point it out to them, but there’s a constructive way of doing it, the right way to do it. And then there’s asshole way of doing it.

I pride myself on -- I like being that person, I like that I have that mindset. Eric and I we’re going to work together again. Peter Safran, we did “Vehicle 19” together and we have the same code, the same ethics when it comes to the way we handle business, the way that we treat people. It’s really important to me. In any industry where there’s a lot of money to be made, those people are hard to find because there’s a lot of elbows and it’s ‘Me me me me me.’ When you find people that have the mindset ‘No it’s us, it’s the team,’ that’s refreshing.

Is it that sense of teamsmanship that keeps bringing you back to the "Fast and the Furious" movies?

"The Fast" is tough, it’s not easy. It represents too much to too many people. But that’s what also makes it fun. We have people that come from very different walks of life, Vin [Diesel] and I in particular, you know East Coast, just different mentality, different mindset, different childhoods. And so I don’t speak his language, he doesn’t speak mine, but we do complement one another. There’s times where I drive him fucking crazy and he drives me nuts, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s like there’s always been a respect.


This article is related to: South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW), Paul Walker, Hours, Interviews






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More