The celebrity world has taken to social media to register their shock, grief and disbelief at the tragic weekend death of Fast and Furious fixture Paul Walker.
Entertainment Weekly reports the celebrity response began shortly after Walker died in a car accident in Valencia, Calif., on Saturday afternoon. Walker was 40 years old.
As reported by The Daily Mail, the most poignant reaction came from Walker’s Fast and Furious co-star Tyrese Gibson, who visited the site of the accident on Sunday.
Clad entirely in black, Gibson silently approached the site carrying a yellow flower in his hand and was immediately reduced to tears as he got closer to the crash scene. You can watch the heartbreaking moment here.
Later on Sunday, Gibson posted a photograph of a piece of wreckage from the accident in his hand with the caption: “I will keep your energy with me forever #AshesOfAnAngel fast family around the world we live you and we love you.”
Gibson also went on Facebook to post the comment: “My heart hurts it’s broken no one can convince me that this is real … I can’t believe I’m writing this…” Gibson also asked people to pray for Walker’s 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.
Similar social-media expressions of grief came from other members of Walker’s F&F family.
Co-star Vin Diesel showed his respect by posting a photo of the pair in happier times on his Instagram account with the caption: “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”
Diesel and Walker had started filming the seventh instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise in September, with the film slated for release in late 2014.
Also speaking up was Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, who played opposite Walker in Fast & Furious 6 and took to Twitter to issue his condolences.
Johnson’s tweet: “All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength…in his light. Love you brother.”
Similarly, rapper/actor Ludacris, who co-starred opposite Walker in the franchise entry 2 Fast, 2 Furious posted a photo on Instagram of the cast holding hands around the dinner table.
The Ludacris post included the caption: “Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you bless your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers & our birthdays are only 1 day apart, now You will forever hold a place in all of our hearts.”
There were also tweets from Walker’s F&F co-stars Jordana Brewster (“Paul was pure light. I can’t believe he is gone”) and director James Wan, who is currently lensing the seventh movie in the franchise.
Tweeted Wan: “I am so beyond heartbroken right now. I can’t process anything.”
More tellingly, there was a considerable outpouring of condolences from people with only a tenuous connection to Walker, which likely speaks volumes to his popularity in Hollywood.
Toward that end, actor James Van Der Beek, who co-starred with Walker in the 1999 film Varsity Blues, went on Twitter to state: “I just remember him being so effortlessly golden. He had that way about him, that ‘thing’ ”
In the same vein, actress Rachael Leigh Cook tweeted: “Paul was a truly good person in a town of questionable characters. … A real life tragedy if there ever was one.”
From Lost star Dominic Monaghan: “Paul was a lovely guy. Handsome as all hell and funny and cool to boot. Terrible news. My condolences.”
Canadian-born actress Emmanuelle Chriqui of Entourage renown tweeted: “Such a heavy heart about Paul Walker … my condolences to all his family and friends. I heard from many what a beautiful soul he was.”
And naturally there were a few unusual celebrity condolences put out there.
Such as: Randy Jackson, of American Idol fame, tweeted: “Life is too short. Rip @RealPaulWalker.”
Actor Eric Roberts tweeted: “My wife cast him in [short-lived TV sitcom] Throb. A great kid & a great guy. So upsetting.”
Comic actor Nick Swardson, best known for his recurring oddball roles in Adam Sandler movies, bordered on disrespectful with his tweet: “RIP to the homie Paul Walker and his family.”
From way out of left field, American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis weighed in with his awkward tweet: “Paul Walker was probably the most beautiful American movie actor of the past two decades.”
And in the end, the most truthful assessment of the tragedy came from former 3rd Rock from the Sun star Kristen Johnston, of all people.
Johnston’s forthright tweet: “I’m not trying to canonize the guy … but wanna know why you RARELY read articles abt Paul Walker or saw him all over tabs? Cus HE HAD CLASS.”
And she’s probably right.
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