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Vin Diesel

Diesel at a premiere for Fast & Furious in March 2009
Born Mark Sinclair Vincent
July 18, 1967 (age 45)
New York, New York, United States
Occupation Actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter
Years active 1990–present
Partner Paloma Jimenez
Website
www.vindiesel.com
Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair Vincent; July 18, 1967) is an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He became known in the early 2000s, appearing in several successful Hollywood films, including The Fast and the Furious and xXx. He founded the production companies One Race Films, Tigon Studios, and Racetrack Records.

Early life

Diesel was born in New York City, the son of Delora, a psychiatrist and astrologer.[1][2] Diesel has white and black ancestry.[3][4] He has described himself as "definitely a person of color"[5] and stated that he is "of ambiguous ethnicity – Italian and a lot of other stuff."[6] Diesel has never met his biological father, and was raised by his African-American stepfather, Irving, an acting instructor and theater manager.[1][5] He made his stage debut at age seven when he appeared in the children's play Dinosaur Door, written by Barbara Garson. The play was produced at Theater for the New City in New York's Greenwich Village. His involvement in the play came about when he, his brother, and some friends had broken into Theater for the New City's space on Jane Street with the intent to vandalize it. They were confronted by the theater's artistic director, Crystal Field, who, instead of calling the police, handed them scripts and offered them parts in the upcoming show.[7]
He remained involved with the theater throughout adolescence, going on to attend the city's Hunter College, where his creative writing studies led him to begin screenwriting. Diesel became an active film-maker in the early 1990s, first earning notice for the short film Multi-Facial, which was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival. Diesel has identified himself as a "multi-faceted" actor[8] as a result of early difficulties finding roles due to his mixed heritage.[8][9] In an interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he said that he changed his name to "Vin Diesel" while working as a bouncer at the New York City nightclub Tunnel, because in that business one's real name is not usually given out. The name "Vin" is simply a shortened version of "Vincent". He received the nickname "Diesel" from his friends who said he ran off diesel fuel, referring to his non-stop energy.

Career

1990s

Diesel's first film role was a brief uncredited appearance in the film Awakenings (1990). He then wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the short film Multi-Facial (1994), a short semi-autobiographical film which follows a struggling actor stuck in the audition process, because he is regarded as either "too black" or "too white", or not black or white enough. He made his first feature-length film, Strays (1997), an urban drama in which he was self-cast as a gang leader whose love for a woman inspires him to try to change his ways. Written, directed, and produced by Diesel, the film was selected for competition at the 1997 Sundance Festival, leading to an MTV deal to turn it into a series. He was cast in Steven Spielberg's 1998 Oscar-winning film Saving Private Ryan on the poignancy of his performance in Multi-Facial. In 1999, he earned critical acclaim for his voice work as the title character in the animation film The Iron Giant.

2000s

Diesel in Munich, April 2005
Diesel had a major role in the business drama Boiler Room (2000), and then got his breakthrough role as the anti-hero Riddick in the science-fiction film Pitch Black (2000). Diesel attained action hero stardom with two box office hits: the street racing action film The Fast and the Furious (2001), and the action thriller xXx (2002). In 2004, Diesel reprised his role as Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick, which was a box office failure considering the large budget. In 2005, he played a lighthearted role in the comedy film The Pacifier, which became a box office success.
In 2006, he chose a dramatic role playing real-life mobster Jack DiNorscio in Find Me Guilty. Although he received critical acclaim for his performance, the film did poorly at the box office. Later that year, Diesel made a cameo appearance in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, reprising his role from The Fast and the Furious. He was originally offered the lead in 2 Fast 2 Furious, but turned it down. He was also offered the chance to reprise his role from xXx in xXx: State of the Union, but turned it down as well.
In 2007, Diesel was set to produce and star as Agent 47 in the film adaptation of the video game Hitman, but eventually pulled back and served as executive producer on the film instead. In 2008, he starred in the science-fiction action thriller Babylon A.D.. Diesel returned to the The Fast and The Furious series, alongside all the actors from the original film, in Fast & Furious, which was released in April 2009.

2010s

In 2011, Diesel returned for Fast Five, the fifth film in the series. He is currently filming Fast Six and the third installment in the Riddick series, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking, which is set for release in 2013.

Personal life

Diesel is noted for his recognizable deep voice; he has said that his voice broke at around age 15, giving him a mature sounding voice on the telephone.[10] He has a twin brother, Paul, a younger brother, Tim, and a sister, Samantha.[citation needed] Around 2001, Diesel dated his The Fast and the Furious co-star, Michelle Rodriguez.[11]
Diesel has a daughter, Hania Riley, born April 2, 2008, with his girlfriend, model Paloma Jimenez.[12][13] Speaking to An tEolas, an Irish newspaper, Diesel stated he has been seen as a hard man, but is in touch with his soft side as a father.[14] Diesel claims that he prefers dating in Europe, where he is less likely to be recognized and where celebrities are not romantically linked to each other. He prefers to maintain his privacy regarding his personal life:[15]
I'm not gonna put it out there on a magazine cover like some other actors. I come from the Harrison Ford, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino code of silence.
Diesel has expressed his love for the Dominican Republic, and how he relates to its multicultural facets.[16] He is also acquainted with President Leonel Fernández, and appeared in one of Fernández's earlier campaign ads. Los Bandoleros, a short film directed by Diesel, was also filmed in the Dominican Republic.[17] Diesel has played Dungeons & Dragons for over 20 years,[18] and wrote the foreword for the commemorative book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. In the 30th anniversary issue of Dragon Magazine, it was revealed that Diesel had a fake tattoo of his character's name, "Melkor", on his stomach while filming xXx.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Awakenings Orderly Uncredited
1994 Multi-Facial Mike Short film
Writer, director, producer
1997 Strays Rick Writer, director, producer
1998 Saving Private Ryan Private Adrian Caparzo
1999 The Iron Giant The Iron Giant Voice
2000 Boiler Room Chris Varick
2000 Pitch Black Richard B. Riddick
2001 The Fast and the Furious Dominic Toretto
2001 Knockaround Guys Taylor Reese
2002 xXx Xander Cage Executive producer
2003 A Man Apart Sean Vetter Producer
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick Richard B. Riddick Executive producer
2005 The Pacifier Lieutenant Shane Wolfe
2006 Find Me Guilty Jack DiNorscio Producer
2006 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Dominic Toretto Cameo
2007 Hitman N/A Executive producer
2008 Babylon A.D. Hugo Cornelius Toorop
2009 Los Bandoleros Dominic Toretto Short film
Director, producer
2009 Fast & Furious Dominic Toretto Producer
2011 Fast Five Dominic Toretto Producer
2013 The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking Richard B. Riddick Post-production
2013 Fast Six Dominic Toretto Filming
201? The Return of Xander Cage Xander Cage Announced

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