Paul Walker’s presence is looming large these days, and not just because of the upcoming release of “Furious 7.” The late actor’s co-star and friend, Vin Diesel, has found a way to immortalize Walker for many years to come thanks to his newborn baby girl.
Speaking on Monday’s episode of the “Today Show,” the Furious 7 star revealed that he and his girlfriend, Paloma Jimenez, have agreed to name their newborn daughter Pauline, after Walker.
“It felt like a way to keep his memory a part of my family and a part of my world,” the actor said (via The Hollywood Reporter). “He was in the room. There’s no other person that I was thinking about as I was cutting this umbilical cord. I just… Knew he was there.”
The 47-year-old actor announced the news of his daughter’s arrival with a Facebook photo, accompanied by lyrics to the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. As THR notes, he has two other children, six-year-old Hania and four-year-old Vincent. Diesel and Walker became close over the years, having co-starred together in five of the seven hit movies that make up the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
Walker’s life was tragically cut short in November 2013 when he was riding a car driven by Roger Rodas. The driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree at a very high speed. Neither of the men made it out of the wreck alive. At the time, Walker was in the middle of filming the upcoming “Furious 7.” Production was put on hold for several months while the filmmakers combined pre-existing footage with body doubles played by the actor’s real-life brothers Caleb and Cody. Despite the setback, the film looks like it will be an impressive success when it hits theaters on April 3.
It’s unclear at this time exactly how the film will address the loss of Walker’s character Brian O’Connor, who has acted as a through-line protagonist for the movies since the original in 2001. At the recent premiere at South by Southwest, director James Wan and co-star Tyrese Gibson implored the audience not to spoil what happens.