Vin Diesel in July 2013
July 18, 1967
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, film producer, film director, screenwriter|
|Partner(s)||Paloma Jimenez (2008–present)|
Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair or Mark Vincent; July 18, 1967) is an American actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He came to prominence in the late 1990s, and first became known for appearing in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan in 1998. He is most known for his portrayals of Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy (2001–2013) and of Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious film series (2001–present), two franchises in which he also acted as producer.
He starred in xXx (2002) and Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty (2006). His voice acting work includes Brad Bird's The Iron Giant (1999), the video games of The Chronicles of Riddick franchise, and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy adaptation of the Marvel comics of the same name.
As a filmmaker, Diesel directed, wrote, produced and starred in the drama film Strays, as well as in two short films. He is the founder of the production companies One Race Films, Racetrack Records, and Tigon Studios.
Diesel was born in New York City. His mother, Delora Sherleen (Sinclair) Vincent, is an astrologer. Diesel has stated that he is "of ambiguous ethnicity". His mother's background includes Scottish, English, and German. He has never met his biological father, and has stated that "all I know from my mother is that I have connections to many different cultures". Diesel has self-identified as "definitely a person of colour". He commonly says he's "Italian and a lot of other stuff". He has stated that his parents' relationship was illegal in some parts of the United States due to anti-miscegenation laws. Diesel was raised by his Caucasian mother and African-American stepfather, Irving H. Vincent, an acting instructor and theater manager. 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.
Diesel 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. He has identified himself as a "multi-faceted" actor as a result of early difficulties finding roles due to his mixed heritage. He changed his name to Vin Diesel while working as a bouncer at the New York nightclub Tunnel, because one's real name is not usually given out in that business. 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.
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. The film was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival. He made his first feature-length film, Strays (1997), an urban drama in which he played 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.
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.
Diesel reprised his role as Dominic Toretto in the fifth and sixth films of the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast Five (2011) and Fast & Furious 6 (2013). He reprised his role as Riddick in the third film of the Riddick series simply titled Riddick (2013). In August 2013, Diesel received an honorary star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .
Diesel is noted for his recognizably deep voice; he has said that his voice broke at around age 15, giving him a mature sounding voice on the telephone. He has a twin brother, Paul, a younger brother, Tim, and a sister, Samantha. Around 2001, Diesel dated his Fast and the Furious co-star, Michelle Rodriguez.
Diesel has a daughter, Hania Riley (born 2008), and a son Vincent (2010) with his girlfriend, Mexican model Paloma Jimenez. 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. 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: "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. He is acquainted with its president, Leonel Fernández, and appeared in one of Fernández's earlier campaign ads. Los Bandoleros, a short film directed by Diesel, was filmed in the Dominican Republic.
Diesel has played Dungeons & Dragons for over 20 years, 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.
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|
|Pitch Black||Richard B. Riddick|
|2001||The Fast and the Furious||Dominic Toretto|
|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||Producer|
|The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury||Richard B. Riddick||Voice|
|2005||The Pacifier||Lieutenant Shane Wolfe|
|2006||Find Me Guilty||Jack DiNorscio|
|The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift||Dominic Toretto||Uncredited|
|2008||Babylon A.D.||Hugo Cornelius Toorop|
|2009||Los Bandoleros||Dominic Toretto||Short film
Writer, director, producer
|Fast & Furious||Dominic Toretto||Producer|
|2011||Fast Five||Dominic Toretto||Producer|
|2013||Fast & Furious 6||Dominic Toretto||Producer|
|Riddick: Blindsided||Richard B. Riddick||Short film
|Riddick||Richard B. Riddick||Producer|
|2014||Guardians of the Galaxy||Groot||Post-Production|
|2015||Fast & Furious 7||Dominic Toretto||On hold pending rewrites|
|2004||The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay||Richard B. Riddick||Voice|
|The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena||Richard B. Riddick||Voice|
Awards and nominations
- "CNN.com – Vin Diesel: From nightclub bouncer to action hero – August 12, 2002". CNN. August 12, 2002. Archived from the original on 15 August 2009.
- "Vincent, Irving H". encyclopedia.com. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
- Vincent, Mal (June 22, 2001). ""THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS" VIN DIESEL OPENS THE THROTTLE IN NEW SPEED MOVIE AND JOINS AN ELITE "ACTION – STAR " FRATERNITY". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved March 2, 2008.
- "vin diesel explains why glasgow was perfect to shoot fast furious 6". May 15, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
- "Diesel mixes it up". Jam.canoe.ca. February 22, 2000. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- "Diesel is running hot". Jam.canoe.ca. February 17, 2000. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- "Eight Things You Might Not Know About Vin Diesel". Feb 11, 2011. "Vin Diesel doesn't like to focus on his ethnicity. He commonly says he's "Italian and a lot of other stuff". Some sources make reference to his black ancestry but Diesel prefers to be "ambiguous" and in order to make it in the entertainment business (or any other business) race shouldn't be a factor."
- Chu, Hanna (2013-08-26). "Vin Diesel receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame". KABC-TV. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
- "Vin Diesel Biography (1967–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- Pearlman, Cindy (August 9, 2002). "Fame game stumps Diesel". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
- Krulik, Nancy E. Vin Diesel: Fueled for Success. New York: Simon Pulse, 2002. Page 14.
- Vincent, Mal (August 9, 2002). "xXx". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved March 2, 2008.
- Wloszcyna, Susan (June 4, 2004). "Vin Diesel, driving on a tankful of cool". USA Today. Retrieved March 2, 2008.
- Noy Thrupkaew (August 16, 2002). "The Multicultural Mysteries of Vin Diesel". Alternet.org. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- "Vin Diesel Shifts Acting Career into High Gear In 'The Fast and the Furious' - Brief Article | Jet | Find Articles at BNET.com". Findarticles.com. July 9, 2001. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- "Vin Diesel- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Moult, Julie (August 27, 2013). "Vin Diesel's girlfriend and two children cheer on the actor as he receives his Hollywood Walk of Fame accolade". Daily Mail. Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
- "'Fast And Furious 7′ Gets July 11, 2014 Release Date". Deadline.com. PMC. April 16, 2013. Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- Truitt, Brian (21 December 2013). "He is Groot: Diesel to star in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'". USA Today.
- Vin Diesel on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on YouTube
- Wloszczyna, Susan (August 6, 2002). "Vin Diesel, in high gear". USA Today (Gannett). Retrieved February 4, 2007.
- Jordan, Julie (June 5, 2008). "Vin Diesel Becomes a Father". People. Retrieved June 6, 2008.
- "New Zealand Herald". Nzherald.co.nz. June 9, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- "Vin Diesel receives Hollywood Walk of Fame accolade". The Indian Express. August 27, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- Fear crua ar an scáileán mór ach athair cineálta sa bhaile, An tEolas (Irish), (English)
- "Diesel says rumors about him being homosexual are untrue".
- "Vin Diesel to film in DR".
- "Vin Diesel "adores" Dominicans, presents 'Los Bandoleros'".
- "Vin Diesel of The Chronicles of Riddick Interview". Retrieved September 13, 2007.
- "Awards – VinXperience – The Vin Diesel fansite". Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "Vin Diesel to Receive CinemaCon Action Star of the Year Award – The Hollywood Reporter". Retrieved April 13, 2013.
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