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Exclusive: Paul Walker Finds His Papa
Action star joins Hemingway drama

23 December 2005  |  Written by   

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The Fast And The Furious and Running Scared action star Paul Walker has joined Anthony Hopkins in the Ernest Hemingway project Papa, based on the author's fatherly relationship with a young man who is inspired to climb the career ladder by Hemingway’s writing. Cocktail helmer Roger Donaldson has been replaced as director by the RSC's guru, Adrian Noble, who'll be making his cinema debut.

Speaking to Empire, Walker said that he was blown away by the script: “This wasn’t at all calculated or ‘I want to go do this, do that’, I just read it and was like ‘Fuck! I gotta make this movie!’ Hopefully it’ll stay up, right?”

“We sat down a while ago, I read the script and it’s actually a true story – I love true stories, especially when they’re as compelling as this one. This guy was born in an orphanage and taught himself how to read and write by copying Ernest Hemingway’s work word for word, comma by comma. He escaped from his orphanage, ran away, and wanted to work for a major newspaper.

“He just worked his way up the ladder, became a columnist for this newspaper, and here he’s written this letter to Ernest Hemingway wanting to thank him. He says, “Look, you’re my inspiration, you’re the reason I am what I am in my life” and all this and that, and he’s written this letter like 300 times, because no matter how many times he’s written it, it’s not good enough for Ernest Hemingway to read.

”So, his co-workers know what’s going on, they steal it, take it off his desk, drop it in the mail and send it to Hemingway. He gets a phone call at work and it’s like, ‘Hey, this is Ernest Hemingway.’ ’Yeah, bullshit, who the fuck is this?’ You know? He tells him, ‘You know what? I was so moved by your letter and what you wrote. You know, as far as I’m concerned you’re the son I never had. I want you to come out and spend some times with my wife and I in Atlanta, Cuba’.

"So he goes out to Cuba, and Ernest Hemingway, at this time? He’s the biggest celebrity on the planet. He gets out there, there’s all this Castro stuff, weapon smuggling – all this stuff is referenced in the movie – but when he finds this guy (Hemingway) is just this shell of a man. He’s fallen apart, he’s suicidal."

Shooting has been moved from a March start to either June or September. And don't pick on us for the lack of Paul Walker photo, it's practically Christmas and we don't have any to hand. Anthony is a hot man you know...

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