It doesn't get much better than mixing a little sunshine with stellar company, am I right? This is exactly why 2018's first installment of BTW presented by Heineken featuring LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman was pretty much perfection.
With the City of Angels as the backdrop for this shoot, our day began at Cal State University Los Angeles, where we met up with Walker at the team's brand spanking new training facility. (Side note: that place is next level. Mercy.) My first impressions of Walker were as follows: 1) He's a tall drink of water 2) His warmth is infectious 3) He's adapting well to this Cali lifestyle. Dude was rocking jorts and absolutely slaying it. Enough said.
We hopped in the car and began our 20-mile trek to from the training facility to Santa Monica, the beautiful neighborhood he now calls home. So typically, LA traffic makes me want to rip my hair out but on this day I was actually grateful for a little extra time in the car simply because the conversation with Walker was so darn fun. We talked about it all: His deep Georgia roots and what he misses about home, which of his teammates has the best style (Vela, duh), his genuine surprise at his new team's hot start and how excited he is to play in the new Banc of California Stadium, what Bob Bradley is really like as a coach (Intense). Plus, we also discovered a mutual appreciation for podcasts and country music (Serial and Zac Brown Band, specifically).
Upon arrival in Santa Monica, Walker gave me an MTV Cribs style tour of the digs. His home is a reflection of the guy himself; warm, inviting, quirky and bright. In true LA fashion, we then we made our way to the beach on “Birds” which are essentially motorized scooters and are all the rage on the LA beach scene. Seriously, these things are crazy fun. And as we were scooting around, it struck me how at ease Walker was, not only on the Bird but in this brand new setting. He has embraced his new life in Los Angeles with open arms and the city has embraced him right back, a perfect fit.
After more laughs and a little beach soccer we toasted to an awesome day and headed back to our home bases, on the Birds, obviously. I smiled the entire ride back to my Venice Beach Airbnb, a result of having spent the day with a genuinely awesome guy who simply radiates positivity in all aspects of his life. I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds for him on his new team, in his new city.
And in the unlikely event the whole soccer thing doesn't work out, Walker has a solid Plan B in the acting department. This guy has chops. Just watch the episode to see what I mean.
I hope you enjoy this edition of BTW Presented by Heineken as much as we enjoyed shooting it. Thanks for watching, all. Cheers!