A private memorial service was held over the weekend for Fast & Furious star Paul Walker, who tragically died in a car crash on Nov. 30. The ceremony took place at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills – an event that was attended by a plethora of Walker’s co-stars, including Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.
The 40-year-old’s remains were cremated on Thursday, before his ashes were interred at the Court of Liberty of the illustrious Hollywood cemetery. As one of the most prominent locations of the park, the Court of Liberty is described as tranquil companion garden crypts, replete with the famous bronze and marble statue, The Washington Monument, and the Birth of Liberty Mosaic.
The event was shielded from the prying eyes of the media, as a pair of guards oversaw the ceremony. A large, green tent was also erected to protect the privacy of the congregation of Walker’s family and friends.
During the emotional proceedings, it is alleged that an American flag was folded into a triangle and put on display. A portrait of Walker was placed on an easel as guests arrived, dressed in black and grey.
Although Walker’s family members had opted for a private service, naturally, many of the cast and crew from the Fast & Furious franchise were invited; it is thought that Walker considered many of his co-stars kin.
After the ceremony came to a close, many of the stars took to social networks to share their thoughts on the somber occasion. Gibson uploaded a heartrending post on Instagram, commemorating the Takers actor and offering sincere condolences to his family members:
“Today In a room full of your loved ones I wish today was your wedding instead…. God has a better plan even beyond ALL of our own understandings…… For selfish reasons we all wanted you to stay, another laugh, another take, another talk, another moment….. I guess you can’t get all you ask for in life…. But our hearts are FULL from all the moments we DID have, 13 years of laughter and grace, humility and love….. Never did I take my access for granted…. Continue praying for his #Family, his daughter #Meadow, you are the WORLDS best friend that’s why we’re all feeling it… #RIHAW •Rest In Heaven Angel Walker”
Meanwhile, Rodriguez – who stars as character Leticia “Letty” Ortiz in the Fast & Furious series – took to twitter to share her lasting impressions of her, now-departed, co-star:
“I said goodbye to a great man today, a man I never got to show just how much I love his spirit and his golden heart, ‘stay golden pony boy’.”
Following in the footsteps of his colleagues, Ludacris elected to honor Walker’s memory by uploading a tribute image on his Instagram page. The rap star and actor posted an image of a smiling Walker, along with the heading “Always in our hearts…”
Meanwhile, Frank Marshall, director of the 2006 film Eight Below – an adventure drama movie that featured Walker as the lead role – also paid his respects on Twitter. Marshall talked about celebrating “… the generous soul of PAUL WALKER,” and indicated that he would always remain within “our hearts.”
Recent news from the U.K. paper The Daily Mail suggests that Paul Walker’s brother, Cody Walker, could be set to play Brian O’Conner for some of the unfinished scenes of Fast & Furious 7. Looking at photographs of Cody, the pair do bear a striking resemblance.
In the immediate aftermath of Paul’s saddening demise, executives at Universal Studios began conference calls over how to proceed with the big budget franchise. According to The Daily Mail, an undisclosed source claims that the production team can shoot Cody “… from behind and at a distance,” and use CGI to add Paul’s face for close-up scenes.
The source, who is alleged to have ties with the production team, elaborated on the need to support Paul’s family and friends:
“If Cody agrees it’s because he wants to honor his brother’s memory. There are many details that still need to be worked out, but right now the family and cast and crew are all still grieving.”
By James Fenner