Vin Diesel (born Mark Sinclair) has become the ultimate franchise builder in the past decade with three movie franchises to his name, namely Fast & Furious, Riddick, and xXx, that have accumulated $6 billion worldwide in the box office. But how did this star end up so fortunate? Let’s begin with the first movie Diesel starred in and go from there.
Vin Diesel’s first movie was Multi-Facial, which was written, directed, and starred Diesel. It’s a short autobiographical movie depicting the disadvantages and personal challenges Diesel had been facing in landing acting roles due to his ethnic background. If you’ve not watched it already, you can watch it here.
To find out how Diesel overcame the initial challenges he faced in Hollywood as an aspiring actor and later became the face of three franchises, read on.
The Evolution of Vin Diesel: From a Faceless Theatrical Performer to the Face of Three Franchises
“I’ve always been certain that I was going to be a movie star. Even as a kid, I knew it. People keep asking if I’ve changed since becoming a celebrity. But I haven’t changed because I’ve always thought I was a celebrity.”
- Vin Diesel in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Vin Diesel, the remarkable star who’s most well known for playing Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious saga, has always carried the mindset of a celebrity, especially when it comes to being center stage in theatrical performances.
Diesel realized his passion for performing from an early age, and he began performing at the Theater for the New City (TNC) – one of New York’s leading theaters – when he was just seven. He continued performing here throughout his adolescence.
The job as a club bouncer in his teens enabled Diesel to develop the strength and toughness that he’s embodied in many of his on-screen performances today. Well, that and following a hell of a workout routine involving weights, a massive amount of upper body strength, and no rest days!
It’s Diesel’s fearlessness and confidence that has allowed him to transform from being faceless to becoming the face of three franchises.
Diesel recently revealed that he doesn’t mind playing characters which involve unproven properties. This is incredibly obvious when he plays Groot, one of the most loved characters amongst fans in Guardians of the Galaxy, and all that exists in his vocabulary in the entire movie is “I am Groot.”
Let’s take a look at how Diesel landed his career-defining role, one that would eventually result in a franchise worth billions.
The Fast & Furious Franchise
Six years after his self-produced movie Multi-Facial, after he’d captured the attention of famous directors like Steven Speilberg, Diesel assisted in launching one of the era’s most popular franchises with The Fast and Furious (2001) starring as Dominic Toretto appearing alongside the late Paul Walker.
Here’s the chronology of the Fast and Furious trilogy according to IMDb:
- The Fast and Furious (2001)
- 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
- Fast & Furious (2009)
- Fast & Furious 5 (2011)
- Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
- Fast & Furious 7 (2018)
- Fast & Furious 8 (2017)
The cast is comprised of the following actors/actresses:
- Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto
- Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner
- Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz
- Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto
- Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce
- Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as Tej Parker
- Lucas Black as Sean Boswell
- Sung Kang as Han Lue
- Gal Gadot as Gisele Yashar
- Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs
- Jason Statham as Jason Statham
The Future of the Furious Franchise
The Fast & Furious franchise is set to come to an end by 2022, when the final movie to the trilogy, Fast & Furious 10, will be released. F9 – scheduled to be released this year has been delayed until next year amidst the coronavirus crisis.