Cody talks about the ‘Fast & Furious’ star’s enduring influence in a recent interview that is only available to PEOPLE. It’s difficult to believe that Paul Walker’s untimely death was ten years ago. At the time of his death on November 30, 2013, at the age of 40, the Fast & Furious actor, whose ocean-blue eyes and carefree smile won him over fans and the box office worldwide as Brian O’Conner, was wrapping up the seventh installment in the franchise. In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, Paul Walker’s 35-year-old younger brother Cody Walker says, “Paul did not realize the impact that he made on those around him.” For the duration of Fast 7’s production, Cody and his brother Caleb served as Paul’s stand-ins, with the actor’s face eventually being digitally overlaid over their bodies. Recalling Paul’s tattoo of his now 25-year-old daughter, “we had to wear Paul’s tattoo, duplicates of the actual tattoo of Meadow’s name that Paul carried on his wrist,” Cody laughs. “Every time you looked below, Paul was there to remind you.” It was challenging. In a way, it was also restorative.
” The brothers were greeted on site with tales of their brother’s affable disposition. “The sound guy, the prop guy, a PA, everybody over the course of these months would want to share a story about Paul,” he says. “‘Dude, your brother, get in line with the rest of us, instead of eating his meals in his trailer.'”There on the curb, he took a seat next to me, and we had lunch together once.”Your brother is the world’s nicest guy.” The stories highlighted the dignity with which Paul approached every encounter, whether it was with “the busboy or some other famous person,” according to Cody. “He gave everyone the same treatment. Hearing these various accounts from folks I had never even met before regarding their amazing experiences with Paul meant a great deal to me.” Cody is now continuing his well-known brother’s charitable endeavors by hosting live automotive events called FuelFest, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Paul’s non-profit organization Reach Out Worldwide, which provides disaster relief. With more than $400,000 raised for ROWW thus far, FuelFest makes its next visit in Scottsdale on December 9. Ten years following the passing of his brother, Cody tells PEOPLE what he would like to say to Paul in the present: The fact that over ten years have passed is unreal since it doesn’t seem like it.
I wish I could express to you how much you are missed and how much of an influence you had on individuals all around the world in addition to your family. Paul Barrett Walker is the name we gave our third child this year. We simply held him, gazed at him, and discussed it. I thought it fitting to pay tribute to you and the family name. I would like you to know that Meadow has developed into such a stunning young woman who has taken up the mantle and done an amazing job starting her charity to protect our oceans in your memory. She’s pursuing a very challenging job [in modeling], but she’s making her own way. She would make you very proud. You took great pride in her. You were unaware of the difference you made. Organizing live automotive events called FuelFest, I meet people all around the world, and I’ve heard from total strangers that “I was in a very dark place.” I felt like I had a purpose in life because of those movies and your brother’s passion for cars and his personality. Reach Out WorldWide, the organization you founded, is still assisting people all across the world, thus your legacy lives on. You would tell them to “be good.” It just meant to be a good person. It made no difference to you if someone was a famous person, a CEO, or the bellhop. You were equal to all of them.