We were 48 hours from production on Fast & Furious and $3 million over budget. Paul showed up on set the first day, and we huddled in my trailer as I walked him through a new chase scene. He smiled and said, “Cool,” and off we went. He ran nonstop for three days. At times I knew he was beyond tired, but he knew how important it was to set the right tone from the start. That’s when I knew I had a true partner in Paul.
During the press tour for Fast & Furious, we were outside a club in Moscow during a dreadful winter. Paul and I decided to do jumping jacks to keep warm. That’s the thing with Paul–he would never let his friend go do some goofy move alone. He was always there no matter what. It wasn’t long before everyone joined us outside the club, doing jumping jacks in the snow.
We were back from the rainy U.K. to shoot the final scenes for Fast 6, and we brought the rain back with us. We fought the weather for three days trying to get the perfect finish. With 20 minutes to go, we had to shoot the all-important barbecue scene. I knew this was going to be the last scene I’d shoot in the Fast franchise and wanted it to be special. I pushed the crew and cast so hard, and we barely got it in the can. As we ran out of light on the last shot, I threw my headphones down in frustration and walked off to collect myself. I was beyond spent. Next thing I knew, there were two arms hugging me. It was Paul. He said, “Thank you” and walked off. That was the last moment I had with Paul on set and is what Paul was all about.
Lin directed the four most recent Fast & Furious films
This text originally appeared in the Dec. 16 issue of TIME magazine.
Next Helen Thomas