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Vin Diesel

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Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel (9347077569).jpg
Diesel in 2017 at the premiere of XXX: Return of Xander Cage
Born
Mark Sinclair

(1967-07-18) July 18, 1967 (age 55)
Occupation
  • Actor
  • producer
  • writer
  • director
Years active1990–present
PartnerPaloma Jimenez (2007–present)
Children3
Signature
Vin Diesal's signature.svg

Mark Sinclair (born July 18, 1967), known professionally as Vin Diesel, is an American actor. One of the world's highest-grossing actors, he is best known for playing Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious franchise.

Diesel began auditioning for roles in the early 1990s but struggled to gain roles and instead decided to make his own low-budget film. In 1995, he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the short film Multi-Facial. In 1997, Diesel made his first feature length film Strays, which he also wrote, produced and directed. Director Steven Spielberg took notice of Diesel after seeing him in Multi-Facial and cast him in a small role for his 1998 war epic Saving Private Ryan. Diesel subsequently voiced the titular character in The Iron Giant (1999) while gaining a reputation as an action star after headlining the Fast & Furious, XXX, and The Chronicles of Riddick franchises.

Diesel portrays Groot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films, appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). He also portrayed Groot in the animated film Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) and the Disney+ animated shorts series I Am Groot (2022). Diesel has also earned commercial success in other genres, such as in the comedy The Pacifier (2005), while his performance in Find Me Guilty (2006) was praised. Diesel portrayed Bloodshot in its 2020 superhero film adaptation, and is slated to appear in the upcoming Avatar films.

He founded the production company One Race Films, where he has also served as a producer or executive producer for his star vehicles. Diesel also founded the record label Racetrack Records and video game developer Tigon Studios, providing his voice and motion capture for all of Tigon's releases.

Early life

Diesel was born Mark Sinclair[1] on July 18, 1967,[2] in Alameda County, California,[3] where his mother was also born, though later moved to New York City with his fraternal twin brother, Paul.[4][5] His mother, Delora Sherleen Vincent (née Sinclair), is an astrologer.[6] He was raised by his white mother and adoptive African-American father, Irving H. Vincent, an acting instructor and theater manager.[5][7][8] Diesel has stated that he is "of ambiguous ethnicity."[9] His mother has English, German, and Scottish roots.[10] He has never met his biological father, and has said that "all I know from my mother is that I have connections to many different cultures";[11] Diesel believes that his parents' relationship would have been illegal in parts of the United States due to anti-miscegenation laws.[12]

Diesel 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 the Theater for the New City space on Jane Street with the intent to vandalize it. They were confronted by the theater's artistic director, Crystal Field, who offered them roles in the upcoming show instead of calling the police.[13][14][15] Diesel remained involved with the theater throughout adolescence, going on to attend NYC's Hunter College, where studies in creative writing led him to begin screenwriting. He has identified himself as a "multi-faceted" actor.[16] Sinclair began going by his stage name Vin Diesel while working as a bouncer at the New York nightclub Tunnel, wanting a tougher sounding name for his occupation. Vin comes from his mother's married last name Vincent, while the surname Diesel came from his friends due to his tendency to be energetic.[17]

Career

Diesel in 2005

Diesel's first film role was a brief uncredited appearance in the drama film Awakenings in 1990. After several years of struggle to gain acting roles, Diesel decided to make his own short film to secure funds for his feature film debut. In 1994, he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the short drama film Multi-Facial, a semi-autobiographical film which follows a struggling multiracial actor stuck in the audition process. The film was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival. As well as acting, Vin Diesel supported himself by working as a bouncer and telemarketer selling lightbulbs.[18]

In 1997, Diesel secured funds to make his first feature-length film, Strays, 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 which never came to fruition. Director Steven Spielberg took notice of Diesel after seeing him in Multi-Facial[19] and cast him in a small role as a soldier in his 1998 Oscar-winning war film Saving Private Ryan. This marked Diesel’s first major Hollywood film role. In 1999, he provided the voice of the title character in the animated film The Iron Giant.[20]

In 2000, Diesel had a supporting role in the drama thriller Boiler Room, where he appeared alongside Giovanni Ribisi and Ben Affleck. He got his breakthrough leading role as the anti-hero Riddick in the science-fiction film Pitch Black later that year. 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). He turned down the chance to reprise his roles in the sequels 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and XXX: State of the Union (2005).[21] Instead he chose to reprise his role as Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick, which was a box office failure considering the large budget.[22] He also voiced the character in two spin-off video games and the anime film The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. In a change from his previous action hero roles, in 2005, he played a lighthearted role in the comedy film The Pacifier, which was a box office success.[23]

Diesel with the Fast Five cast and Natalie Morales for Today in 2011

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,[24] the film did poorly at the box office grossing only $2 million against a budget of $13 million.[25] 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.

Diesel's main car, a Dodge Charger, from Fast & Furious

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. which was a critical and box office failure. Diesel returned to Fast & Furious series, alongside most of the principal cast from the original 2001 film, in Fast & Furious, which was released in April 2009.

Diesel reprised his role as Dominic Toretto in installments five through nine of the Fast & Furious franchise, Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), and F9 (2021).[26][27] He reprised his role as Riddick in the third film of The Chronicles of Riddick series, simply titled Riddick (2013). In August 2013, Diesel received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[citation needed] He voiced Groot in the 2014 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians of the Galaxy.[28] He starred in the supernatural action film The Last Witch Hunter (2015).[29] In 2016, Diesel appeared as a supporting character in Ang Lee's war drama Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

In 2017, Diesel also reprised his roles as Xander Cage in XXX: Return of Xander Cage,[29] and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.[30] Over the course of several years, Diesel has discussed playing two separate roles within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[31][32][33][34][35] In November 2016 director of Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn, confirmed that Diesel had been in talks to play Blackagar Boltagon / Black Bolt for the planned Inhumans film, but it was turned into a television series instead without Diesel involved.

Diesel reprised his role of Groot once again in the crossover films Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) which combined the superhero teams of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers. He has said, "[I] think there's gonna be a moment that we're all waiting for, and whether you know it or not, you are waiting to see [Groot] and [the Hulk] get down."[36]

Diesel portrayed Valiant Comics character Bloodshot in the film of the same name[37] which released in March 2020. He is also joining the cast of James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water.[38]

In September 2020, Diesel announced his venture into music, with the release of the song "Feel Like I Do", produced by Kygo.[39] He debuted the song on The Kelly Clarkson Show on September 24, stating: "I am blessed that on a year that I would normally be on a movie set — and as you know, that's not possible — I've had another creative outlet. Another way to show you, or share with you, my heart."[40]

Personal life

Diesel has said he prefers to maintain his privacy regarding his personal life, stating: "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."[41]

Sometime around 2001, Diesel dated his Fast & Furious co-star Michelle Rodriguez.[42] Since 2007, he has been in a relationship with Mexican model Paloma Jimenez; the couple have three children: daughter Hania Riley (born April 2008),[43][44] son Vincent Sinclair (born 2010),[45] and daughter Pauline (born March 2015).[46] The last is named in honor of his co-star and friend Paul Walker, who died in November 2013.[47] He is also the godfather of Walker's daughter, Meadow.

Diesel is noted for his distinctive deep voice; he said his voice broke around age 15, giving him a mature-sounding voice on the telephone.[48] He has played Dungeons & Dragons for over 37 years as of 2021,[49] and wrote the foreword for the commemorative book 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. Canadian video game designer and developer Merritt k created the 2015 ASMR game Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You based on his D&D fandom.[50][51][52][53] He has expressed his love for the Dominican Republic and how he relates to its multicultural facets.[54] He is acquainted with its former 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.[55]

In November 2021, Vin Diesel attended a belt promotion ceremony at Legacy Jiu-Jitsu, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in Burbank, California, in order to give a speech to celebrate one of his oldest friends being promoted to black belt in the sport, Valentino Morales.[56]

Filmography

Diesel at the premiere for Fast & Furious in 2009
Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Awakenings Orderly Uncredited
1995 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
Pitch Black Richard B. Riddick
2001 The Fast and the Furious Dominic Toretto
Knockaround Guys Taylor Reese
2002 XXX Xander Cage Executive producer
2003 The Turbo Charged Prelude for 2 Fast 2 Furious Dominic Toretto Uncredited; Short film, Archive footage
A Man Apart Sean Vetter Producer
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick Richard B. Riddick
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury Voice; Short film
2005 The Pacifier Lieutenant Shane Wolfe
2006 Find Me Guilty Jackie DiNorscio
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Dominic Toretto Uncredited; Cameo
2008 Babylon A.D. Hugo Cornelius Toorop
2009 Fast & Furious Dominic Toretto Producer
Los Bandoleros Short film
Writer, director, producer
2011 Fast Five Producer
2013 Fast & Furious 6
Riddick: Blindsided Richard B. Riddick Short film
Voice
Riddick Producer
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Groot Voice
2015 Furious 7 Dominic Toretto Producer
The Last Witch Hunter Kaulder
2016 Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Shroom
2017 XXX: Return of Xander Cage Xander Cage Producer
The Fate of the Furious Dominic Toretto
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Groot Voice
2018 Avengers: Infinity War
Ralph Breaks the Internet Voice; cameo appearance
2019 Avengers: Endgame Voice
2020 Bloodshot Ray Garrison / Bloodshot Producer
2021 F9 Dominic Toretto
2022 Thor: Love and Thunder Groot Voice
Avatar: The Way of Waterdagger TBA Post-production
2023 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3dagger Groot Voice; Post-production
Fast Xdagger Dominic Toretto Producer
2024 Fast & Furious 11dagger Post-production
Avatar 3dagger TBA

Television

Vin Diesel in television
Year Title Role Notes
2019, 2021 Fast & Furious Spy Racers Dominic Toretto Voice (4 episodes); Executive producer
2022 I Am Groot Groot Voice (5 episodes)
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Voice; television special
TBA Ark: The Animated Series Santiago Da Costa Voice; in-production; Executive producer

Video games

Vin Diesel in video games
Year Title Voice Notes
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay Richard B. Riddick
2009 Wheelman Milo Burik
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Richard B. Riddick
2020 Fast & Furious Crossroads Dominic Toretto
2022 Ark 2 Santiago Da Costa[57] Also executive producer

Theme park attractions

Vin Diesel in theme park attractions
Year Title Role Venue
2015 Fast & Furious: Supercharged Dominic Toretto Universal Studios Hollywood
2018 Universal Studios Florida

Discography

Singles

Title Year Album
"Feel Like I Do" 2020 Non-album singles
"Days Are Gone"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast
Saving Private Ryan Nominated[a]
Online Film Critics Society Award Best Cast Won[a]
2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Actor Pitch Black Nominated
2002 MTV Movie Award Best Male Performance The Fast and the Furious Nominated
Best On-Screen Team Won[b]
Black Reel Award Best Actor Nominated
2003 MTV Movie Award Best Male Performance xXx Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actor: Drama/Action Adventure xXx
A Man Apart
Nominated
2004 Spike Video Game Award Best Performance by a Human Male The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay Nominated
2005 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actor: Comedy The Pacifier Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Actor The Chronicles of Riddick Nominated
Video Software Dealers Association Award Male Star of the Year[58] Won
2009 Spike Video Game Award Best Performance by a Human Male The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best Male Performance Fast & Furious Nominated
2010 People's Choice Award Favorite Action Star Nominated
2011 CinemaCon Award Action Star of the Year[59] Fast Five Won
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actor Nominated
2012 Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
Black Reel Award Best Cast Ensemble Nominated[a]
People's Choice Award Favorite Action Star Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Chemistry Fast & Furious 6 Nominated[c]
2014 People's Choice Award Favorite Action Movie Actor Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Duo Won[b]
2015 Phoenix Film Critics Society Best Cast Guardians of the Galaxy Nominated
Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Actor: Action Furious 7 Won
Choice Movie: Chemistry Nominated[a]
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Movie Won
Favorite Action Movie Won
Favorite Action Movie Actor N/A Nominated
2022 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actor[60] F9: The Fast Saga Nominated[61]
  1. ^ a b c d Shared with the rest of the cast
  2. ^ a b shared with Paul Walker
  3. ^ Shared with Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson

References

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  3. ^ "Mark Sinclair, Born 07/18/1967 in California". CaliforniaBirthIndex.org. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  4. ^ Paul Sinclair birth record at California Birth Index. Retrieved on March 29, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Vin Diesel Biography (1967–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
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  8. ^ Pearlman, Cindy (August 9, 2002). "Fame game stumps Diesel". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
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External links