By Jack Rico
Vin Diesel is an enthusiastic one. That’s for sure. During a recent interview for his film The Last Witch Hunter, the Fast & the Furious star decided to flip the switch and ask me what I thought about the action/adventure flick. I compared him to his character Kaulder, a man who is immortal and indestructible but faces loneliness and isolation. There’s a facade the character puts up, all the while consumed by weakness. In many ways, Diesel shares similar traits.
On the one hand, he’s a global action icon who many consider to be the ultimate badass on the other hand, he’s a total geek – frequently referencing Tolkien and sharing his enthusiasm for Dungeons and Dragons. The star has also made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. His production company One Race pushes for diversity on-screen while he frequently serves as producer on several of his projects.
When I note this, Diesel falls out of his chair and literally sings my praises. Have so few people really tapped into this? After a round of applause (he urged the entire production team to clap), I ask the 48-year-old about a short film he wrote and directed in 1995 called Multi Facial. The comedy, which can be viewed here, is semi-autobiographical and chronicles the struggles often faced by biracial actors in the industry.
Interestingly enough, Steven Spielberg saw the short and cast Diesel in Saving Private Ryan because of it. I note that Multi Facial was a big step in the path he’s taken to break down barriers for actors of color and how since then, he has had a hand in getting several films made – including The Last Witch Hunter.
“You just keep opening up different parts of my heart,” he says before launching into what I can only describe as a nerd tangent.
The California native then brings the conversation back to Kaulder and the reality of the life he endures. He ends with another round of applause and then I realize that the interview is to air on a Latin network and I have no sound bites for it, he concludes with a bit of Spanish.
Watch the interview!