In an exclusive interview with Sun Online, Cody Walker told how his older brother was a “huge goofball” who preferred surfing to acting — and would be “blown away” that the movie franchise that made him famous was still successful almost 20 years later.
And he revealed how painful it was for him to stand in for his brother and film his remaining scenes after the actor was tragically killed in a car crash half-way through the filming of "Furious 7."
Now Cody is now bringing Fuel Fest - a huge "Fast and Furious" style car event - to the U.K., in memory of his older brother.
Speaking ahead of this Sunday's event, Cody said: “Paul was just a huge goofball who really never took anything too seriously. He never took himself seriously.
“He’s just a giving guy who would often laugh about and joke that he ‘failed upwards.’
“He never had aspirations to be an international level actor when he started.
“He didn't look up to actors as idols. He didn't idolize them, he idolized professional athletes and marine biologists. That's what he wanted to do.
“My love for cars, my love for travel — it's all from him and I miss him, I miss him every day.”
Paul’s shock death aged 40, caused when a car he was passenger smashed into a tree in Los Angeles, devastated fans around the world in 2013.
Cody said the outpouring of support his family received from fans and car enthusiasts in the aftermath of his brother’s death helped them get through the dark times.
He and his middle brother Caleb Walker also spent three months filming for "Furious 7" — finishing the scenes that tragically Paul could not.
But Cody admits it was uncomfortable trying to step into his big brother’s shoes while he was still grieving.
Cody says Paul would be blown away that the franchise is still going strong
“It was extremely tough. It was a very, very odd — at times uncomfortable situation to be in — because you're pretending to be somebody that was pretending to be someone else,” he said.
“And that person was your brother and I'm having to wear his tattoo. And It was a lot, it was a big roller coaster.
“It was also a great healing moment for my brother Caleb and I to bond over that time frame of working on it together.
“We couldn't have done it without one another. We had each other to lean on and everyone was extremely supportive.
“The entire cast really is a family had been working together on these movies for a long, long time.
“It was special to have their support and to be able to, to finish that for Paul.”
Paul Walker shot to international fame after starring in action movie "The Fast and the Furious" in 2001 which he starred alongside Vin Diesel.
So far there have been a further eight movies in the franchise with the latest "Hobbs & Shaw" starring Dwayne "The Rock” Johnson hitting screens this week.
Work has already begun on "Fast and Furious 9" — which is currently filming in the U.K.
Cody believes his brother would be shocked that the franchise that made him famous is still going strong after almost 20 years.
“I think he'd be blown away but honestly he was so much more than just a car guy.
“He'd be surprised. I think we were all honestly very surprised at how the car community took it all and how often it is that people will walk up to me and tell me ‘your brother’s the reason I'm into cars.' I didn't have a grasp of that. And I know Paul didn't.
“In fact, he just lived a very private life. He did this, he did his films, did the publicity, everything that was required of him and then he would disappear again and go surf or whatever.
“So, in all honesty, don't know what he’d think — I think he would think it was really funny. He would be very surprised at the lasting impact that he had because he didn't look at himself that way.”
Now Cody has set up Fuel Fest which will take place on Aug. 11 in Chelmsford, Essex, U.K..
He says the event is a mixture of a car meet and a music festival - and while he wants it to be a place where Brit fans can come and pay their respects to Paul, he says the focus is on fun — which was “a huge part of his personality.”
The event will feature cars from the "Fast and Furious" franchise as well as appearances from the movie’s stars include Tyrese Gibson.
“He was the real car enthusiast and he instilled that in me,” he said.
“He kind of molded me being so much younger and he'd get a kick out of this event. This is totally his scene. The car enthusiasts, the tuner scene.
He added: “I wanted to be able to bring something together and bring the car community together in a way that hasn't really been done before, especially for the fans of the 'Fast and the Furious' and that entire franchise.
“And at the same time be able to create something that promotes his foundation, his charity Reach Out Worldwide because the car community has been so overwhelmingly supportive of my family and everything.
“And it was just really cool to be able to create something that I'm passionate about. And at the same time use it in a way to do good because it's so much part of like a bigger picture and Paul's legacy. I'm just really excited.”
Paul secretly set up his charity following the Haitian earthquake in 2010, but was determined to keep it under the radar and out of the spotlight
Self-funded he took a group of friends to Haiti where they helped with relief efforts.
The charity now sends medical assistance to help communities after disasters overseas and also helps with debris removal after flood or tornadoes in the US.
“It's been going on since 2010 and it's really special, Cody said.
“It's a part of Paul that he left behind. People know Paul as the car guy, but he created Reach Out Worldwide because he actually wanted to get his hands dirty and wanted to help people and he didn't want to get the publicity for that.
“He could have easily just stamped his name on some other known organization and be used as a means to raise awareness for it but he wanted to actually go on the ground, be there and actually be involved.
“Being able to do something that I love, which is car related and now being able to create Fuel Fest, I wouldn't be in a position that I'm in without the influence that he had on me in my life.
“It just makes absolute 100 percent sense to create a car event that also benefits his legacy, which is Reach Out Worldwide. And so it's an honor. It's my responsibility in a sense to keep that going.
“And it's really awesome that I'm put in a position to where I can give back to the man that really molded me.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun.