Every person experiences grief differently. When actor, Paul Walker, died on November 30, 2013 in a car crash all of his fans were left completely stunned (myself included!) but the close-knit cast from all of the Fast and Furious films had the hardest time.
After six movies together, they had created a family-type bond and many of them really struggled in the months that followed. Michelle Rodriguez has revealed that, as she mourned, she engaged in behaviors that were destructive.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress explained: “I actually went on a bit of a binge. I went pretty crazy. A lot of the stuff I did last year I would never do had I been in my right mind.”
Part of her struggle was that she considered Paul “the deepest guy” she knew and felt a special connection with him as a result. She went on to say: “I could see Paul once every two years and just know there was another human on the planet who’s deep like me, who loves like that. When that disappears, you wonder, ‘Wait a minute, what do I hold on to?’ There was nothing to tether me to this existence: ‘Why am I f—king here? And, like, why’d you leave without me?’”
Indeed, it’s not uncommon for survivors to question their own existence or even have feelings of abandonment. As someone moves through the stages of grief, it’s even normal to feel denial and anger. Those emotions are consistent with how Rodriguez says she chose to cope.
She explained that she was “pushing [herself] to feel” when she went on topless vacations with model, Cara Delavigne, and dated Zac Efron. She partied hard and didn’t care when her behavior began garnering attention. She explained: “I felt like nothing I could do could make me feel alive, so I just kept pushing myself harder and harder. I was traveling, and I was having sex. And I was just trying to ignore everything that I was feeling.”
Fortunately, the 36-year-old actress was able to regain control over her life before permanent damage was done. She said that she woke up one morning with a sudden “profound respect for living.” She felt herself standing tall and became determined to stop hiding. At that point, she explained, that she “picked [herself] up and started hustling.”
It sounds as though, after moving through so many other emotions associated with loss, she finally reached the stage of acceptance and could begin to live fully again. The cast was only halfway through filming the seventh film in the Fast and Furious franchise and, after an extended break, pulled together, with the help of Walker’s brothers (who stood in for the late actor in some scenes) completed the project. The movie hits theaters on April 3, 2015.