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 it got a tumultuous reception.
Afterwards, Vin returned to Los Angeles and raised nearly $50,000 through telemarketing to fund the making of his first feature "Strays" (1997), an urban drama in which he cast himself as a gang boss whose love for a woman inspires him to try to change his ways. Written, directed, and produced by Vin, six months after shooting, the film was accepted for the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and received a good reception, though it didn't sell as well as hoped. Yet again a disappointed Vin found himself back in New York only to receive a dream call from his newly acquired agent.
Lucky for Vin when moviemaker Steven Spielberg said he was impressed by "Multi Facial" and thus invited Vin to meet him on the set of "Amistad." As both males became clicked, Vin then got in hand a role especially written for him in Spielberg's next blockbuster "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). Following the success of the movie, "Multi Facial" went on to earn Vin more works, including the title character of the animated "The Iron Giant" (1999) directed by Brad Bird. Next, Vin also won the lead role of Richard B Riddick in the character-driven sci-fi film "Pitch Black" (2000), an interplanetary thriller that features him and fellow Earthlings doing battle with a host of nasty alien mutants.
Despite the movie small budget and low-key marketing, Vin performance indeed earned him numerous of devoted fans and the recognition he deserves. Since then his career began a meteoric rise with his receiving a more challenging roles, as the one he got in a 2001 action film "The Fast and The Furious" that portrays him as the leader of a street racing gang that is under suspicion of hijacking trucks for their cargo of expensive electronic equipment. From this point Vin kept getting any other roles in many other qualified movies, like in “Boiler Room” (2000), “Knockaround Guys” (2001), and “A Man Apart” (2003).
Above all, Vin was also well known for his action in a 2002 action movie entitled "XXX" pronounced "Triple X" in which he stars as Xander Cage, an extreme sports star who is recruited by a National Security Agency agent to infiltrate a group of European criminals named Anarchy 99.
As for the nominations this tough actor have ever gotten are; listed as a potential nominee on both the 2003 and 2004 Razzie Award nominating ballots, named as a suggestion for the Worst Actor category on the 2003 ballot for his performances in the films “Knockaround Guys” (2001) and “XXX” (2002), and was listed as a suggestion again on the nominating ballot in the Worst Actor category the next year for his role in "A Man Apart" (2003). Fortunately, Vin didn't receive either nominations, instead he could favorably win #46 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List after he previously ranked #95 in 2002.
The year of 2005 maybe Vin most difficult time as he has to gain 30 pounds more despite the routine exercise he has to stop during the "gain weight process" for the next role he plays in the upcoming drama "Find Me Guilty" where he portrays as a gangster and for which he has to develop "a gut." The burden could indeed lessen with Vin's new comedy hit "The Pacifier" success in grabbing the top spot at the box office this weekend, grossing $30.6 million well ahead of John Travolta's much-hyped "Get Shorty" sequel "Be Cool" which earned $23.5 million.