Freddie Prinze Jr pays an emotional birthday tribute to late co-star Paul Walker

The actors appeared together in She's All That

They became Hollywood heartthrobs after appearing together in the 1999 hit She's All That. And nearly two decades after the movie was released, Freddie Prinze Jr still treasures his friendship with his co-star Paul Walker, who tragically passed away after a car crash in 2013. Remembering the Fast & Furious actor on what would have been his 44th birthday, Freddie explained how they first met during castings for the romantic comedy and how he helped Paul land the role. He told Us Weekly: "When Paul came into audition, I didn't have cast approval, but I had what they called consultation. I knew Paul was the right guy, and when he finished the audition, I asked if I could excuse myself to go to the bathroom."

Freddie Prinze Jr has paid tribute to his late co-star Paul Walker

Freddie, who is married to Sarah Michelle Gellar, went on to reveal that he then chased Paul into the carpark. The 41-year-old shared: "I said, 'Hey man, you're going to get this job.' They didn't pay us anything. It was a small movie. [I said], 'They're going to offer you $25,000… Don't say no." Freddie took on the leading role of popular high school student Zack Siler, while Paul played his friend Dean Sampson.

WATCH: Vin Diesel sings emotional tribute to Paul Walker

"I heard, years later, after he passed away, that he had told his brother and his mum that story," added Freddie. "To hear that, that meant a lot to him to share that. I loved that there was still that connection there." Breaking down in tears, he remarked: "Excuse me for getting choked up, I don't normally... As an actor, you don't want guys to suffer if they don't have to. Right? You're like, 'Dude - you got the part!' He was a good dude."


Paul Walker's daughter Meadow is all grown up! See the photo

In the video, Freddie also explained how he was still friends with the film's leading lady, Rachael Leigh Cook, and was also in touch with Paul until his untimely death. On Paul's birthday last week, the late actor's daughter Meadow took to her Instagram page to share a throwback of the pair. In the caption, she wrote: "In honour of my dad's birthday today, we're challenging you to DO GOOD!"