Paul Walker and Freddie Prinze Jr. on the set of ‘She’s All That’
On the brink of freshman high school life, I thought the lottery was upon me. No, not the actual financial lottery I’d like to hit now as a hum drum adult; I’m talking the adolescent lottery–features teens were overloaded with in media. Legit full out parties where crews would break out into choreographed dances and Usher played DJ. I figured I’d magically wake up taller, looking more like Rosario Dawson instead of the person my parents’ genetics created. But most importantly, I thought boys would mirror the likeness of heartthrobs like Paul Walker, Mekhi Phifer, Leo DiCaprio, Heath Ledger, Ryan Phillipe and Freddie Prinze Jr
Fast Forward to my first day of high school, and yeah, that fantasy was crushed immediately. Imagine my dismay when Internet Explorer told me that all these dudes were twenty somethings playing teenagers. It was enough to tug me into the real world, but not enough to break the ties of my school girl crushes–especially with Freddie Prinze Jr
“My dad taught me the greatest lesson in life and that’s to make sure the people around you feel loved. That’s something he might not have been able to teach me if he were alive. So I owe him one.”-Freddie Prinze Jr.
As the son of late actor Freddie Prinze, he inherited his father’s knack for acting and helped create a memorable era in youth films. He played the sensible male lead in just about each of his prime films. Responsible and practical, yet still somehow a member of a crew of douches–reckless guys who made bets on girls. And somehow, even though we were sold his character’s place in all of that male chauvinist mischief, girl’s didn’t buy it–which made for the most whimsical teenage daydream dramatic scenarios. “Oh, he didn’t think he’d fall in love with me, the girl next door, the nerd…but he did.”
Cue heart eyes. The adult in me scoffs at this, but what saves Freddie’s portrayals is, as Zack Sylar in She’s All That
, he was a nerd. He belonged with Laney and introverts like her. But thanks to his charade, he was out in the ranks of populars–which he felt suffocated by. This, oddly enough, isn’t very far from Freddie’s humble background either.
“It only takes 30 seconds to pluck my eyebrows, but it hurts. I have to tweeze them in the middle once a week. Otherwise, I look like Bert from “Sesame Street.” I’ve been doing it for 11 years.”
I lived for camera shots of his furrowed brows–let’s be real, he mastered those things before we
got them right–and those closed mouth smiles that lit up every inch of his face. And apparently, I, along with the rest of Freddie’s admirers, was not alone. Sarah Michelle Gellar of the epic Buffy The Vampire Slayer
saga had her heart strings tugged. And those two together were just cool not to love.
“After years of feeling like an outsider, I finally have a woman I love, and friends that I can trust. I am the luckiest man in the world to have met Sarah.”-Freddie Prinze Jr.
After filming the I Know What You Did Last Summer
franchises–and a long period of friend zoning–the two married and settled into a more discrete Hollywood life, primarily due to Freddie’s aversion to acting.
“This [writing] is what I want to do. I’m going to stop acting in the next few years because it’s just too weird. You have to constantly be willing to live in a scary, emotional place, which is why actors are in therapy all the time.”
–Freddie (TV Guide, April 2003)
So where are you now Freddie Prinze Jr? Well, he’s still kicking. He never stopped working, he just grew partial to other facets of his talent–making our school girl affection for him even stronger. Not only is he great at lending his vocals to hit animated series like Robot Chicken and Star Wars Rebels, he’s also a damn good cook. He released a cook book, Back To The Kitchen, which focuses on creating quick dishes on busy nights–some even with the Puerto Rican flavor of his heritage. And while wife Sarah Michelle Gellar is a force to be reckoned with on her own in the kitchen, she’s not the one to challenge her hubby.
“I would be a fool if I got competitive with him because the man went to culinary school,” she told PEOPLE. “That would be if I was feeling like getting my beep handed to me.”
The skills don’t stop there, our boy is also a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu under the Gracie Academy and has been training in the arts since he was 12. Yeah, he’s no joke. Thanks to the discipline of this trade, Freddie was able to re-teach his body basic fundamentals like walking after spinal surgery in 2014. These days he’s back on his feet, still training and enjoying the fruits of his post heartthrob days.
“Bro, I’m retired,” he said in an interview The Fighter and The Kid. “I roll, I surf and I play with my kids.”
It’s clear, no matter what endeavor our crush chooses, we’ll still be down.