The actor and producer of one of the most important franchises of recent times remembers how his meeting with Steven Spielberg was.
Long before the enmity with dwayne johnson and forge one of the most successful action franchises in years fast and furious 10 as recently as ch. Vin Diesel I was just a lowly newcomer in Hollywood. His first credited role was in the 1995 short film, Multi-facial, a drama that co-directed and starred fellow actor Riddick as a man struggling to find work for the sake of appearance (reflecting Diesel’s real-world experience). He then wrote, directed, and starred in the 1997 film Strays. In this case, Diesel is drawn from his institution in New York City to counsel a man who is looking for a greater purpose in his life.
One year after the release of Strays; Diesel finds himself on the fast track to success when playing a small but pivotal role Saving Ryan’s SecretWorld War II film Stephen Spielberg. I will not delay the matter from there. In 1999 he gave his voice to the main character of Iron Giant, a film by Brad Bird. Then came Black Panther in 2000 and Fast and Furious in 2001, kicking off two of Diesel’s longest running franchises.
Above all though, Diesel’s life was almost over before it could really begin. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times to mark the 20th anniversary of Secret Ryan in 2018, Diesel told how Spielberg changed his career literally overnight by casting him in the film.
As Vin Diesel explained, his failure to listen to the reasons for acting is what led him to make films in the first place during the struggles of his life. He was actually making ends meet as a telemarketer when he got a call from fellow ET extraterrestrial and Jurassic Park director about a possible job in 1997, as Diesel recalls:
“He asked me to meet him at the Statute of Amistad. And I remember thinking, “How should I ask? What am I going to say to him?” I promised myself I wasn’t going to say something I’ve probably heard a thousand times, like, “I’m a huge fan of your work.” And here I am standing in front of him, and he’s like, ‘I’m a flame of your work’, and I’m like, ‘I’m also a fan of your work.’
Spielberg, who wanted to work with Diesel after seeing Multi-Face, was clearly delighted with this response. He would go on to cast Diesel as the honorable but dying Secret Caparzo in his war drama, which featured roles from Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, cementing him as a rising star. The rest, as the proverbial saying goes, is history, as Diesel developed into a full-fledged mobile action star over the years.
In 2020, the actor from Bulletproof Nanny and The Last Witch Hunter told The National about another meeting he had with Spielberg: “…he said to me, ‘When I wrote you the part in Ryan’s Kept a Secret, you were obviously an actor to be hired, but you were also secretly harboring an inner director. yours, and you have not directed it sufficiently. This is a crime movie and you have to go to the direction. The Fast and the Furious X: Part II Will it signal Diesel’s return to the director’s chair?