The MTV Movie Awards is known for its combustible moments and categories honouring such cinematic achievements as “best kiss” and “best gut-wrenching performance.” But when the annual raucousness gets under way on Sunday from the Nokia Theatre with Conan O’Brien as host, it will also include a more solemn moment: a tribute to Paul Walker.
The late Fast & Furious actor, who died on Thanksgiving weekend in a single-car crash, was a fixture at past awards, and the network has decided to honour his memory at this year’s event. There will be clips of his work, and his Fast co-star Jordana Brewster will take the stage to speak about him and introduce the package.
MTV president Stephen Friedman said that the tribute was fitting. “Paul Walker was a role model for the MTV audience since the very beginning of his too-short career. Our audience grew up with him, from Varsity Blues to the Furious franchise,” Friedman said. “He was a movie star but one that they could relate to.”
He added, “Paul’s humanity and kindness clearly showed through every role. We’re honoured to be able to spend a moment in this year’s Movie Awards to celebrate him.”
Walker was one of several well-regarded actors who died within the last year, a list that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and James Gandolfini. The Fast star was remembered during the Oscar In Memoriam tribute last month.
At the MTV Movie Awards, Walker and Fast co-star Vin Diesel are also nominated for best on-screen duo; that award, however it plays out, will stand apart from the tribute. Despite the show’s penchant for stirring the pot with promotional clips for upcoming releases, it’s also not expected for next year’s Fast 7 to be a part of the tribute, which is meant to be a more serious reflection on Walker’s legacy.
Walker and Diesel won best pair at the MTV ceremony for an earlier film in the franchise back in 2002. Walker Diesel, Brewster and co-star Michelle Rodriguez also all appeared as presenters at last year’s telecast, describing their long-running camaraderie and affiliation with the MTV Movie Awards.