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Vin Diesel is an American actor, writer, director, and producer, known for his muscular physique and deep voice. Diesel is the founder of the production companies OneRace Films, Tigon Studios, and Racetrack Records.
Diesel made his stage debut at age seven when he appeared in "Theatre for the New City," which was produced in Greenwich Village and directed by Thomas Hinkerman. He remained involved with the theatre throughout adolescence, going on to attend the city's Hunter College, where his creative writing studies led him to begin screenwriting. Diesel became an active film-maker in the early 1990s, first earning notice for the short film Multi-Facial, which was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival. He made his first feature-length film, 1997's Strays, an urban drama in which he was self-cast as a gang boss whose love for a woman inspires him to try to change his ways. Written, directed and produced by Diesel, the film was selected for competition at the 1997 Sundance Festival, leading to an MTV deal to turn it into a series.
In an interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he claimed to have changed his name to Vin Diesel while working as a bouncer, because in that business one's real name is not usually given out. The name "Vin" is simply a shortened version of "Vincent". He received the nickname "Diesel" from his friends who said he ran off Diesel, referring to his non-stop energy.
Diesel's first film role was an uncredited appearance in the 1990 film Awakenings. He then produced, directed and starred in the 1994 short film Multi-Facial, a short semi-autobiographical film which follows a struggling actor stuck in the audition process, because he is regarded as either "too black" or "too white", or not black or white enough.
He was then cast in Steven Spielberg's 1998 Oscar-winning film Saving Private Ryan on the poignancy of his performance in Multi-Facial, and followed it up with a major role in Boiler Room (2000) and his breakthrough role in Pitch Black (2000). He also earned critical acclaim for voice work as the title character in The Iron Giant (1999). He attained action hero super stardom with the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious and the 2002 film xXx. In 2004, he reprised his role as Pitch Black's Riddick in The Chronicles of Riddick. He will also be starring in the upcoming motion picture "American Outlaw", (Axel & Echo Productions,) sometime within the next 5 years. In 2005 he played a comedic role in the film The Pacifier to avoid being typecast as an action hero. In 2006 he played mobster Jack DiNorscio in Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty which was based on one of the longest Mafia trials in American history.
He has announced his intention to direct Hannibal the Conqueror, and star as the legendary Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps by elephant to attack Rome.
Diesel was originally offered the lead in Doom but turned it down. The role eventually went to The Rock.
On March 8, 2006, Diesel revealed he is working on a sequel to The Chronicles of Riddick.
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