NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Actor Paul Walker is shifting gears in New Orleans, where he is playing a father struggling to keep his newborn daughter alive in a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Makers of the suspense drama, "Hours," say this is one of the most challenging film projects yet for "The Fast and the Furious" star.
Walker plays the lead character Nolan, a grief-stricken man struggling with his wife's death while trying to keep his prematurely born daughter alive in an incubator through power outages and rising floodwater and chaos when the two are abandoned in a New Orleans hospital after Katrina strikes.
"Paul is literally in every scene," said the film's producer, Peter Safran, whose other films include the blockbuster parody "Scary Movie." ''I love how this project challenges him."
Production got under way this week.
Shooting on Wednesday involved a scene in which Walker was trying to flag down a helicopter from the roof of a parking garage that will appear in the movie to be the roof of the hospital in which Walker's character and his daughter are trapped.
Filmmakers point out that the movie isn't just a Katrina story.
"It's about parenthood," said screenwriter Eric Heisserer ("Final Destination 5" and "The Thing"), who is making his directing debut with "Hours." ''As I was writing this screenplay, I could see every scene. There comes a point where you fall in love with a project so much you just can't let go of it."