Diesel at a premiere for Fast & Furious, March 19, 2009
Mark Sinclair Vincent
July 18, 1967
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||Hunter College|
|Occupation||Actor, film producer, film director, screenwriter|
Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair or Mark Sinclair Vincent; July 18, 1967) is an American actor, producer, screenwriter and director. He came to prominence in the late 1990s and became best known for appearing in several successful Hollywood films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), Pitch Black (2000), The Fast and the Furious (2001), xXx (2002), The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), and Fast & Furious 6 (2013). He is also the founder of the production companies One Race Films, Tigon Studios, and Racetrack Records.
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", with his background including Scottish, Italian, and "a lot of stuff"; and that he is "definitely a person of colour". Diesel has never met his biological father, and has said, "all I know from my mother is that I have connections to many different cultures". 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.
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 as a result of early difficulties finding roles due to his mixed heritage. 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.
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.
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.
In 2011, Diesel returned for Fast Five, the fifth film in the series, and in 2013, reprised the role again, in Fast & Furious 6. He will star in Riddick, slated for release in September 2013. On April 16, 2013, Diesel announced that Fast & Furious 7 would be released on July 11, 2014, with production scheduled to begin in August 2013.
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 The Fast and the Furious co-star, Michelle Rodriguez.
Diesel has a daughter, Hania Riley (b. 2008), with his girlfriend, 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 also 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 also 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|
|Pitch Black||Richard B. Riddick|
|2000||Boiler Room||Chris Varick|
|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||Richard B. Riddick||Producer|
|2014||Fast & Furious 7||Dominic Toretto||Producer|
|2004||The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay||Richard B. Riddick|
|2009||The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena||Richard B. Riddick|
Awards and nominations
- "CNN.com – Vin Diesel: From nightclub bouncer to action hero – August 12, 2002". CNN. August 12, 2002. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- 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.
- "Diesel is running hot". Jam.canoe.ca. February 17, 2000. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- "Vin Diesel Biography (1967–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
- 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 1 May 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.
- 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.
- 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.