Has Been Spotted Wearing these Sunglasses
Vin Diesel was born Mark Sinclair Vincent on July 18th, 1967 in New York City. He began his acting career as a child, as many actors do, but in a rather unorthodox fashion. When he was seven years old, he and several friends were caught attempting to break into the Jane Street Theatre to vandalize it. The theater's art director made a deal with them: instead of calling the police she gave them each a script and $20, and told them they had to attend rehearsals at the theater every day after school. This led to Vin's on-stage debut in a children's play called The Dinosaur Door.
He spent the rest of his childhood and teenage years on the stage, often for his father, who ran a New York repertory company. At 17, in need of additional income, he took a job as a bouncer, having started a vigorous weight training regimen two years prior. It was then that he took the name Vin Diesel.
Vin enrolled in Hunter College as a theater major, but on the advice of his father and friends, changed his major to English. He wanted to be able to write screenplays, so that if he couldn't find the right part for him, he could write one himself. However, after three years, he felt so inspired to make his own film that he left college and moved to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, getting his foot in the door in Hollywood was not quite as easy as he envisioned, and he ended up taking a job as a telemarketer. After a year, he decided to move back to New York, but did not consider the trip to California a complete loss, since he had gained valuable experience in the art of salesmanship.
As actor, director, and producer, he completed his first short film, Multifacial, about multiculturalism and identity. The script was written in just 5 days, and the film shot in 3 with only a $3,000 budget, but received rave reviews at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. This success effectively launched his film career.
Diesel's next film, Strays, did well at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, but despite its success there did not sell as well as he'd hoped. He was disappointed, but soon after received the phone call of a lifetime. Steven Spielberg, having seen Multifacial and liked it, called and asked Vin to meet him on the set of his current project, Amistad. The two really hit it off, and this lead to Diesel's first notable box office role as "Private Adrian Caparzo" in Saving Private Ryan (1998). It was only a small part, but it was an essential stepping stone. From there, Vin's career continued skyward with major roles in several hit movies, such as Riddick in Pitch Black (2000), Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious (2001), and Xander Cage in xXx (2002). These films were so popular that he reprised these roles in sequels of all three. He has received several award nominations for his work, including three at the MTV Movie Awards for Best Male Performance.