- 11:40 AM, Feb 20
Actor, producer, writer, and director Vin Diesel was born Mark Vincent in New York City on July 18, 1967. His father taught theatre, while his mother was a psychologist and astrologist. Mark was raised by his mother and adoptive father in an artist's housing project in New York's Greenwich Village, without ever knowing his biological father. He has a fraternal twin brother, Paul Vincent, who is a film editor and also two sisters.
Mark's first break in acting happened by chance, when at the age of seven he and his friends broke into a theater named "Theatre for the New City," which was produced in Greenwich Village, to vandalize it. To their surprise, a woman stopped and offered them each a script and $20, on the condition that they would attend everyday after school. From there, Mark's career progressed from the New York repertory company run by his father, to the Off-Off-Broadway circuit.
By the time Mark was 17 years old, he felt the need of more income and with his already well-honed physique, he became a bouncer at some New York's hippest clubs, like "Tunnel" that has since closed and "Mars," a job he would do for the next nine years. It was at this time that Mark changed his name to Vin Diesel.
Completed his high school, Vin enrolled as an English major at Hunter College, but dropped out after three years because he thought it was time for him to further his acting career. And so he went to Hollywood, thinking an experienced and art-driven theater actor like him would be valued. Such thought turned out to be false as he didn't make any impression there and after a year of struggling to make his mark, he returned to New York. It was Vin's mother who gave her desperate son a book by Rick Schmidt called "Feature Films at Used Car Prices." The advice within the book later on led Vin to take control of his career and make his own movies.
"Multi Facial" (1994) was the short film Vin wrote based on his own experiences as an actor, which was shot in less than three days at a cost of $3,000. Not only did he write and star in the film, but also directed and produced it, so he deserved to be proud as the project was eventually accepted for the 1995 Cannes Film Festival where