Brian was raised and possibly born in Barstow, California. In his own words he "doesn't remember shit" about his own father. Not even remembering what his father sounded or even looked like. Leading to some doubt as to whether he would be a capable father to his son Jack O'Conner. His surname O'Conner suggests Irish ancestry. It is revealed in 2 Fast 2 Furious that he had a relationship with a woman named Tayna around this time.
Brian was later sent to juvenile detention for popping cars, where he met and befriended Roman Pearce. Later Brian joined LAPD. Two months after graduation, Roman was arrested with a garage full of stolen cars and sent to prison for a sentence of three years. Although Brian had nothing to do with the arrest, Roman came to resent his former best friend simply because of the fact that Brian was a cop, considering Roman's negative attitude towards law enforcement.
During the events of the first film, Brian is working as an undercover detective with the LAPD, going by the name, Brian Earl Spilner, who assigns him the task of solving a series of semi-trailer truck hijackings. He is given a very short amount of time to find the people responsible before the truckers start arming themselves with shotguns and taking matters into their own hands. Their only lead is a description of the vehicles used, black Honda Civics with green neon underglow.
When investigating the street race scene, he then meets Dominic Toretto whose crew he later infiltrates, first as a rival racer, in a race which he loses, then as a member after helping Dom escape the police. While running with Dom, he proceeds to investigate rival race crews led by Johnny Tran and Hector. He even goes as far as to organize and lead a large SWAT team into Johnny Tran's house after finding large amounts of merchandise, the kind from the highway robberies, while infiltrating his garage. It turned out the merchandise was purchased legally and they find nothing on Tran except a few minor charges- which leaves only Dom as a suspect. Brian soon finds out Toretto is responsible after watching him suddenly leave in the middle of a party at Race Wars and seeing Mia weeping to herself. He then reveals himself to Mia as a police officer and convinces her that if he does not get to her brother and his crew fast, they could get seriously injured or killed by the truckers who have begun to carry firearms.
As Brian and Mia race out to stop Dominic from making another highway robbery, two of his drivers, Letty and Vince, are injured in the process, with Letty rolling her car on the side of the road and Vincent being shot in the side by a shotgun from the truck driver who they tried to hijack. Brian saves Vincent only to reveal to Dom that he's a cop. Brian later finds Dominic at his house attempting to look for Jesse when Tran and his cousin roll up on their motorbikes pulling a drive by shooting on the Toretto house, narrowly missing everyone there except for Jesse who is killed in the process.
Both men then drive after Tran and his accomplice, with Dom running the accomplice of the road while Brian fatally shoots Tran. Afterward he chases Dominic, who he then races resulting in Dominic winning closely just before he is hit by another car. After surviving his car rolling over, Brian later pulls him out of the wreckage only to give him the keys to his vehicle, claiming "I owe you a ten second car" (the price he paid for losing the earlier race was his car).
After letting Dom go, Brian is convicted of aiding and abetting a wanted criminal, so he leaves L.A. and goes across the country in a Mitsubishi 3000GT. However later, (somewhere around Texas?) his car gets spotted at a motel, and he is forced to run away from his car. While he's walking, a woman picks him up in a Mitsubishi Eclipse GT Spyder and she drops him off at a used car dealership. Using his previous earnings, he buys a Nissan Skyline GT-R (BNR34) with a C-WEST bodykit (without a spoiler).
Before entering Miami, Brian travels across Arizona, New Mexico and Texas street racing. He wins every race driving his Mitsubishi 3000 GT until the car is found by cops at a motel. He then buys the Skyline (this can be all seen in the short film Turbo-Charged Prelude). Now living in Miami,Florida Brian competes part-time as a street racer for his friend Tej Parker. While racing, he is caught by the local authorities and is facing jail time for his minor charges such as destruction of property (while infiltrating Toretto in the first film) and aiding and abetting Dominic Toretto. However, US Customs Agent Markham later gives him an offer to work undercover to infiltrate a local drug kingpin named Carter Verone in exchange for a clean record. Seeing that they could not pin any charges on Verone until evidence of his payoff is in transit, O'Conner was in charge of being placed as a driver while undercover for Verone. Brian is given a partner named Dunn, who he quizzes regarding his knowledge of cars, and Dunn fails. Brian then proceeded to request his own driver, saying if he doesn't get the driver he wants, he won't participate in the operation and take his chances in Chino.
When Markham agrees to Brian's terms, Brian and his old FBI boss, Agent Bilkins seek out his childhood friend Roman Pearce who is now a Demolition Derby driver. Not being on good terms, they scuffle on the ground much like from their childhood days since Pearce is unhappy with Brian being a police officer, and was arrested two months after Brian got out of Police Academy for possessing eight stolen cars, which Pearce blames Brian for, despite his knowing nothing about it. He is able to convince Pearce to accept the deal, however.
While infiltrating Carter Verone, both men are successful in getting into the organization, aided by Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes), who is an undercover US Customs agent working with Carter. Monica, who has fallen in love with Brian, warns him that Verone intends to kill them at the end of their mission. Now the stakes are that if they fail, they go to jail or if they succeed, they get executed. With those choices, both men hatch a scheme to avoid jail time and being shot dead. Pearce reconciles with Brian, accepting that his arrest was not his fault. With help from Tej, they orchestrate a "scramble"- after driving into a garage they later have hundreds of race cars coming out, having switched cars with Tej and Suki (Devon Aoki) while in the garage.
The cars they later move out in are outfitted with ejection seats to rid themselves of unwanted guests. Brian is forced to meet up with Verone, but after beating up Carter's henchman (with help from Pearce) he proceeds to do a classic car jump onto Verone's boat. Afterward they arrest Verone and are off the hook. He and Monica exchange a meaningful glance, and the end scene is shown between O'Conner and Pearce walking away with their pockets full of Verone's drug money planning to open up a high performance garage in Miami.
Brian O'Conner, now a fully reinstated FBI Agent is given the task of bringing down Arturo Braga, a known trafficker in Los Angeles and his connections to the street racing world. Brian is also not surprised to see Dominic Toretto doing a Suge Knight style balcony interrogation of possible lead David Park. Brian knows that it is because of Letty's recent murder that Dominic has returned to get answers. Also, it was Brian who was contacted by Letty with her proposal to infiltrate Braga's organization in exchange for Dom's safe return to Los Angeles.
Despite being a full agent again, he is still seen doing his trademark bending the rules and occasionally breaking them to solve the case.
Brian and Dom both infiltrate Braga's crew, neither aware of who Braga really is. After having the FBI do a fingerprint database search for Braga, it turns up to be the messenger Campos but not before an FBI Agent envious of O'Conner sends in a SWAT team (possibly intentional in ruining the bust as the agent responsible was at odds with O'Conner) forcing Braga to go back into hiding.
Later, as O'Conner and Dominic go into Mexico to search for Braga, they are given a tip off by one of Braga's people, in this case, one of his females named Giselle Harabo (Gal Gadot) who has taken an attraction to Dom. Brian and Dom successfully apprehend Carlos Braga after doing a series of follow ups in Mexico and helps Dom kill Fenix Calderon , who is responsible for Letty's death, by holding his ankles preventing him from running away while Dominic impales him with a henchman's '71 Chevy Camaro F-Bomb, and is even present at Dominic's trial when he is given a sentence of "25 years to life without the possibility of early parole" by the Judge who did not choose his request for clemency instead. Despite Dom's sentencing, Brian, Mia, and Rico and Tego are seen driving towards his prison transport to rescue him in similar style to Dominic's semi heists about to bust him free.
At the beginning of the film Brian and Mia go to find Vince. To see if he has heard anything from Dom after the bus prison escape. Vince gives Brian and Mia a job to steal a couple of cars from a passenger train.
Dom ends up showing up at the job to save Brian and get Mia out of there. Brian and Dom get of the train but end up getting kidnapped by Hernan Reyes. Brian and Dom escape and retreat back to the safe house were Mia is.
When Vince shows up, O'Conner has an argument with Vince to find out where he was. Vince takes a chip from the Ford GT40 but before he can Dom sees him and tells him to leave. Brian then looks at the chip and finds at there is a shipment schedule and the location of $100 million.
DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) goes to the safehouse to arrest Dom, Brian and Mia. Reyes men are also at the safehouse to kill them. Brian, Mia and Dom escape.
The three of them meet back up but Dom told them we have to split up. Mia then tells Brian that she is pregnant and Brian tells her he will never leave her. The new plan is to steal Reyes money and start a new life as a family. After Mia is asleep Brian and Dom talk. Brian tells Dom that he never knew his dad that he was never there for him, Dom then tells Brian that he wont be that father.
Mia, Brian and Dom need a team to pull of this last job so the recruit Roman Pearce, Tej Parker, Han, Gisele, Leo and Santos. The team goes to one of Reyes compounds and burns all of there money. Vince later joins the team after he saves Mia. Brian, Dom, Han and Roman steal police cars so they can steal Reyes money from the police station. When the team starts the job Hobbs shows up and arrests Dom, Vince, Brian and Mia. Hobbs team is attacked by Reyes men. Dom, VInce, Brian and Mia save Hobbs team and they all escape. The team and Hobbs team work together to steal Reyes money.
Dom and Brian steal the money with there cars racing all around Rio. Toretto lets O'Conner go because he will be a father. Dom takes on the police officer with the vault. Toretto's car is destroyed and Zizi is about to kill Dom but Brian shows up and kills him. Hobbs lets Brian and Dom go but tell them to leave the vault and he gives them a 24 hour window. The team opens up the vault that they switched when they were driving from Gisele, Leo and Santos.
The money is split up. Brian and Mia are walking on the beach together as Dom and Elena Neves show up. Brian tells Dom lets race just you and me.
Brian races to go the hospital to go see Mia give birth to their son Jack. Brian is seen with Mia and his son Jack. Dom meets with Brian and shows him the pictures of Letty and tells him he has to go to find her, much to Brian's chargain. Brian reveals to Dom that if he is going then he is going with him.
Back at the headquarters Hobbs tells the team Shaw's plan. The team finds out that Shaw is associated with Braga. Brian goes back to the United States, under a false name, and is sent to prison and meet up with Braga. Brian meets up with former fellow Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Ben Stasiak, whom he assaults to be admitted to solitary confindment. Brian then meets Braga and it is revealed that Braga once sold Shaw "guns, drugs and women" as well as exposition about Letty's apparent death in Fast & Furious. Letty was marked for death due to her having worked with the Federal Bureau of Investation. Brian is then brought back to London by Stasiak.
Brian and the team track Shaw down to a Spanish military base. It is revealed that Shaw is attempting to hijack a tank in a military convoy. After a lengthy chase and a failed attempt to shop the truck by Tej it is revealed the cargo of the convoy is a tank. Another length chase procedes with Roman attempting to stop the tank himself. He is put in severe danger due to the back of his 1969 Ford Anvil Mustang. Brian then saves Roman before the Mustang is crushed by Shaw's tank. The tank was stalled by Roman's car that was hanging from the tank and was jammed under a highway support pillar by a length of titanium cable leading to Shaw's arrested. During an interrogation, Shaw that Mia was kidnapped from her and Brian's home in Spain. Brian then attacks Shaw but is quickly pulled back. The team is forced to release Shaw. Riley is revealed to be working with Shaw. Letty neglects Shaw's offer to stay with him and elects stays with Dom.
The team later chases a cargo plane piloted by Shaw's team. Brian manages to get on the plane and saves Mia but is attacked by Shaw. A large fight ensues, climaxing with the plane being taken down with Shaw's apparent death as well as Riley and, seemingly, the rest of Shaw's team is killed as well. Dom narrowly escapes the burning plane and reunites with Letty. Most of the team is revealed to be alive, however no one can find Gisele and Han is visably distraut. It is never confirmed whether or not she was killed as she falls into a black fade and is not seen at any point afterwards.
After a talk with Hobbs, Dom and the rest of the team move back into their original home in Los Angeles. Han is still visibly shaken and is given encouragement by Tej and Roman to go to Toyko and that if he needs anything they "have his back". The team sits to eat Sunday lunch during which Roman says grace.
Paul Walker was set reprise his role as Brian O'Conner, however he died of a real-life car crash in Southern California, thus negating any possibilities of Brian being present.
Brian and Dominic are set to find Ian Shaw but it is unknown if his character will die due to his death.
Concept and creation
The series The Fast and the Furious was inspired by an article on street racing, "Racer X", that appeared in the May 1998 issue of Vibe magazine. The project reunited Paul Walker with producer Neal H. Moritz and director Rob Cohen. They have been given a budget in the $20 million to $30 million range and will focus on an undercover police officer (Brian O'Conner) infiltrating the world of Manhattan street racers to bust a hijacking ring. Scott Stuber said Paul Walker's performance as a dysfunctional Yale student in the 2000 suspense drama The Skulls had been a key factor in leading the studio to back The Fast and the Furious.
Trouble over a female
In 2 Fast 2 Furious, Roman reveals that Brian is always getting into trouble over a female (Tanya). This theme is demonstrated in almost all the movies featuring O'Conner:
The Fast and The Furious: Mia Toretto, when he doesn't move on Dom because he "can't see past Mia"
2 Fast 2 Furious: Monica Fuentes, when he might get killed by Carter for flirting. He also recklessly ramps his car into a boat to save her.
Fast & Furious: Letty Ortiz, when he admits the truth about the work she did for the FBI and gets beaten up by Dom.
The following cars are driven by Brian O'Conner throughout the series:
1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse - Built by the FBI for Brian during his undercover operation in The Fast and The Furious. The Base is a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, Equipped with a 420a-t motor with an upgrade to a T3 turbo and front mount intercooler, standalone fuel management and Two 50 lb tanks of wet nitrous. Without Nitrous the cars top speed is 140 mph. With Nitrous the top speed is well over 160 mph. Brian wagers the cars pinkslip in order to gain entry into the race held by Dom at the beginning of The Fast and Furious. During the race, Brian engages the nitrous in a two stage process in an effort to catch up to Doms RX-7 FD. Unfortunately the process caused massive damage to the cars engine and throttle body, and intake manifold. During the Cop Bust Brian is able to save Dom and elude the pursuing patrol cars. The car is later destroyed by Johny Tran after he shoots the car repeatedly with a Mac 11 submachinegun, causing a fire in the car and the nitrous tanks to explode, consuming the car in flames.
1995 Toyota Supra - After losing to Dom in the street race, Brian brings Dom a Wrecked 1995 Toyota Supra to settle his unpaid debt of a 10 second car (After the Destruction of his Eclipse GSX). Dom then pays $15,000 for parts so the car to be repaired and modified for racing. During the test drive Brian races and easily defeats a Ferrari. Brain uses the car again to rescue Vincent during the botched trucker robbery, and again when he and Dom chase Jesse's killers. After Brian kills Johnny Tran, Dom leads him to a deserted road, where he challenges Brian to race him to a Railroad Crossing roughly 1/4 of a mile away. As the race starts Doms Charger takes an early lead, forcing Brian to use his Nitrous just to keep pace. The race ends in a Tie, both cars barely avoiding an oncoming train. Moments later Doms Charger Plows head-on into a Semi, flipping wildly through the air. As the police close in on the duo, Brian takes his keys to his unwrecked Supra, and hands them to Dom, allowing the King of LA, a chance to Escape. The cars current whereabouts are unknown.
1999 Ford F-150 Lightning - Seen first in its restored version when Brian pulls up to Harry's after the fist fight with Vince. Brian first brings this car to Dom's garage with the body in bad disrepair, only to open up the hood, revealing two nitrous tanks and a souped-up V6 engine system. Also seen bumping the curb outside of Harry's performance shop "The Racer's Edge". Also seen when Brian was pulled over by Sgt. Tanner and arrested. This car serves as Brian's Daily Driver, and allows him to Haul the Performance parts for his Supra to Doms Garage.
2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII - Provided for Brian, along with Pearce, in 2 Fast 2 Furious for their undercover mission of taking down drug lord Carter Verone in Miami. It is fitted with a tracking device, so he later switches cars in an elaborate "scramble" sequence; continuing his mission undetected.
1969 Yenko Camaro - Won from fellow racer Korpi, this is the car Brian switches into after the scramble sequence, and drives for the rest of the film. It is outfitted with an ejector seat, which somehow fails, and he is forced to drive with Verone's henchman to the checkpoint. Brian later uses the Camaro to drive off the shore onto Verone's boat to rescue Monica after she is taken captive with him.
2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 - In order to win the race and acquire the slot on Braga's team, the FBI allow Brian to Use the LAPDs impounded cars. Brian acquires two, R34 Skylines and a 2007 GT-R for the Project. Cannibalizing the extra Skyline for parts. In addition, he swapped the RB26DETT's stock turbos for the GT-R's More Powerful turbochargers. Towards the Last Stretch of the race, Dom Bumps Brian's Rear Wheels, sending him into a tailspin, allowing Dom the easy win. After the Car is repaired Brian drives it during Braga's Drug Run. At the meetup point, when Dom confronts Fenix Rise about Letty's death, Dom (having anticipated betrayal from Letty's murder) blows up all the racers' cars (including Brian's) by igniting the nitrous tanks with the cigarette lighter in his own car.
2002 Hummer H1 - Briefly driven by Brian and Dom after his own car is blown up to escape from Rise; it contains the heroin being transported to Braga. He later hides it in the LAPD impound lot, hidden in plain sight.
2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - "Given" to Brian by Dom after he blows up his Nissan, claiming the line from the first film that Dom now owes him a "ten second car". He drives this car for most of the film from here on, using it to apprehend Braga in a cathedral in Mexico and racing against Rise with it.
1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 - Picked out of a used car lot by Brian while on the run from federal agents. He adds a Spoiler Wing on the back and Paints the car silver with blue racing strip vinyls and other decals, and underglow, and of course, Nitrous (with a purge kit in the wheel wells and a blue led). He earns the nickname "Bullet" because of the speed and appearance of his car. Brian drives the Skyline GT-R in the downtown race hosted by Tej. During the Cop Bust, Brian manages to evade several police cruisers, but is then hit by an EDU rifle used by Agent Markham, disabling his car and forcing him off the road. The car is presumably impounded and is never seen again.
1970 Dodge Charger R/T - Furious after Dom's trial and conviction, Brian retrieves the wreck of Dom's Charger left in the Mountain Passage and Repairs it. At the End of Fast and Furious, Brian drives it along with Mia and Tito to rescue Dom from the Prison Van.
1971 Nissan Skyline C10 GT-R - Used at the beginning of Fast Five. Driven by Brian when he and Mia are on their way to Vince's place. The first Nissan to carry the GT-R brand.
2010 Nissan GT-R - Used at the end of Fast Five when he challenges Dominic one last time to race. The most recent Nissan to carry the GTR brand.
1970 Ford Escort MK1 - Used by Brian in Spain to help take down Shaw and the stolen tank. Much like his last R34 GT-R the Escort is right-hand drive and has a dominantly blue paint job.
2011 Dodge Charger R/T Police Car - O'Conner along with Toretto, Pearce, and Han, stole four Rio police cars and used them in a one hundred million dollar quarter mile race. Brian ended up winning the race.
2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 - Used by both Brian and Dom to in the final chase scene of the fifth movie to steal Reyes' money. Dom's was destroyed, but the fate of Brian's is unknown. It possibly survived.
2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta - Used during the climatic ending of Fast and Furious 6. Driven by both Brian and Mia to take down Shaw's aircraft.
2012 Nissan GT-R - Seen at the end of fast 6 in the barbeque scene, it's blue, which is a reminiscent of the R34 GT-R’s famous Bayside Blue color scheme. It has an SP Engineering Bodykit.
He is the secondary protagonist of the film series.
It is unknown whether he and Roman Pearce opened a garage as he mentioned in 2 Fast 2 Furious.
His name might be based on the real-life astronaut Bryan O'Connor.
In 2 Fast 2 Furious, his date of birth is August 29th, 1973, but in Fast Five, it is July, 1978.
Fast & Furious 7 will be the final portrayal of Brian O'Conner by actor Paul Walker due to his death on November 30, 2013. It is unknown at this time whether O'Conner will be re-cast or written out of the story entirely.