The brothers spoke to E! News about the film, which looks at the off-camera life of the Fast & Furious franchise star, who died in a car crash nearly five years ago, leaving behind his only child. They said they participated in the film as a way of “honoring Paul,” but they talked about Meadow’s decision not to be part of it.
“She’s a reserved young lady,” Caleb said to explain why the now 19-year-old declined to participate in the movie, which is currently out. “She’s on the shyer, more reserved side. Maybe she needed a few more years, who knows. But we totally respect that. Obviously we would’ve loved to have her in it, but she wasn’t ready.”
They said that the teen, who has been doing some modeling in recent years, also didn’t go to the Walker family’s private screening of the doc, which was attended by 100 family members and friends. However, she has seen it. Her reaction? “Paul was a lot of things to a lot of people, and it’s tough because being the daughter that grew up in a nontraditional type of household with a dad she had to share the world with is really difficult,” Caleb said. “She’s dealing with it in her own way, as everybody has done.”
Cody added, “I think she’ll be proud of it.”
Think is the key word. Cody goes on to say they’re “not as close as we would like to be” with Meadow, who is active with the Paul Walker Foundation and recently announced the organization’s Youth Leadership Award & Scholarship recipient.
“She grew up in Hawaii,” Cody said about Meadow, who was mostly raised by her mother, Rebecca Soteros, before moving to California with Paul one year before his death. “We would see her for all of the holidays, but otherwise, to be truthful, we didn’t see her all that often. We’re here for her 100 percent. Whenever she’s ready, she has a family that loves her. Things take time. Everybody deals with things differently. I think that’s all that it is.”
The brothers talked about the year that Meadow lived with Paul — and the impact it had on him. Cody called it “a huge conflict for him because he was so excited when she came.” However, he had just inked a three-movie deal and that made him want “to immediately pull himself out of it but it was too late. He would always say, ‘I only have five more years until she graduates high school. Four more years…’ He was really starting to figure that out.” He added that Paul’s final year was “hectic” because he was “in the middle of filming Fast 7” and “trying to figure out how to navigate being a dad.”
The brothers mentioned that Meadow stays in touch with some members of the Fast & Furious crew. “They all check in on her,” Caleb said, with Cody adding, “Vin [Diesel] and Tyrese [Gibson] for sure do.” (Jordana Brewster does too.)
The brothers also talked about Paul’s final day — before he went to a charity event and got into a car crash with his friend Roger Rodas at the wheel of a Porsche Carrera GT — saying that Paul was making plans for Meadow’s future. Caleb described it as “spooky” in hindsight, saying his brother had “a groundbreaking kind of come-to-Jesus [conversation] with my mom that day about how he was going to map out being with Meadow and deciding on the films he was going to work on.” Cory added: “He called me right after [and said], ‘Meadow’s living with me now. I want to retire Mom. I want her to be full time for Meadow. I want her to go to the same high school you went to.’ Like the whole nine.” He died hours later.
After Paul’s death, his mother, Cheryl, made a bid for custody of Meadow, claiming that the girl’s mother had a “drinking problem.” However, she later dropped the bid. Meadow, who is signed with Women Management modeling agency, was the sole beneficiary of the actor’s $25 million estate. She also received a $10.1 million settlement from Rodas’s estate, as well as a settlement for her wrongful death lawsuit with Porsche.
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