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4 little-known facts about Paul Walker and the 'Fast & Furious' franchise
"Furious 7" debuted in theaters April 2, and it's made a killing at the box office. Time magazine reported that the film has already made $385 million internationally. It also had one of the biggest U.S. opening weekends of all time, earning $143.6 million, and it's now Universal Pictures' biggest opening weekend film and will likely be the most successful movie in the franchise.
According to an Opinion Outpost poll, 64 percent of people have either seen the movie or intend to see it.
Of course, all those successes are shadowed by the heart-wrenching passing of the series star Paul Walker in November 2013. Viewers have already taken to social media to discuss the film's moving ending tribute to the actor.
In honor of the big movie debut and the life of a beloved actor, here are a few facts you may not have known about Paul Walker and this high-octane series.
1. Filmmakers used Walker's brothers and CGI effects to complete the movie
Filming wasn't completely wrapped up after Walker's fatal accident in 2013. With gaps abounding, the crew used Walker's two look-alike brothers Cody and Caleb, along with some tactful film editing to bring Walker's character Brian O'Connor back into the film, according to Inquisitr.
2. Vin Diesel named his daughter Paulina after Walker
After filming seven movies together, one can only imagine how close the cast of the 'Fast & Furious' franchise grew over time. Believe it or not, those family feelings between the characters in the movies are shared in real life to a certain extent. Look no further than Vin Diesel's newborn baby girl Paulina for proof.
The star told Natalie Morales on the Today show that he named her after Walker when she was born in March.
"He was in the room," Diesel recalled, according to Today. "There's no other person that I was thinking about as I was cutting this umbilical cord. I just ... knew he was there."
To Diesel, the name is just one way the celebrity chooses to keep Walker a part of the family.
"It felt like, you know, a way to keep his memory a part of my family and a part of my world," he told the news source.
3. Paul Walker was hugely charitable but didn't tell many people
Walker was well-loved for his on-screen performances, but his humanitarian efforts shed more light on his giving personality. The Huffington Post noted that the actor was a serious philanthropist but preferred to keep his donations quiet. He founded a disaster relief nonprofit called Reach Out Worldwide, which issued a statement saying Walker wasn't just the type to write a check and donate. He would personally lend a hand and be the first contributor in and the last one out.
4. The director refused to kill off Walker's character
Some critics have voiced frustration with the CGI effects, saying they should have killed off the character instead. The producers and director didn't think that would have been the most honorable path. In fact, James Wan, the director of "Furious 7" told BuzzFeed he probably would have refused making the movie if they killed the character.
"If they had gone down the other path, I think I would have refused to finish making this movie," Wan told the news source. "The path they went down instead was to "retire Paul's character in the most sincere and elegant way [they] could."
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