How Vin Diesel Got His Big Break In Hollywood

Vin Diesel smiling with reflective sunglasses, black leather jacket, white tank top

By Elyse Johnson |

Vin Diesel smiling with reflective sunglasses, black leather jacket, white tank top

(Getty Images)

Vin Diesel is one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood. The actor rose to fame for his portrayal of Dominic Toretto in the Fast and Furious franchise. The actor is also tied to the xXx series and The Chronicles of Riddick. In 2014, the actor joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he signed on to play Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy. Diesel has quite an impressive resume under his belt, but the actor didn’t have the best start in his career.

Vin Diesel had a humble beginnings

Diesel began acting in 1990 but struggled to get roles in the early stages of his career. At best, he had a short uncredited role in the film Awakenings. In 1994, the actor wrote, produced, and directed the drama, Multi-Facial. The short film followed the story of a multi-racial actor named Mike, who struggles with finding roles in Hollywood due to his ambiguous ethnic background . The film was a semi-autobiographical movie that received a strong response and also was featured at the Cannes Film Festival.

Even after he released his next film, Strays, Diesel would still ride around with copies of Multi-Facial in his trunk in hopes of looking to put it in the right hands. The actor’s luck changed when the film caught the attention of director Steven Spielberg. “My agent says, ‘You know, Steven Spielberg just saw Multi-Facial.’ I went, ‘What? He saw my short film.’ And I’m jumping, I was living in North Hollywood, and I remember jumping up on my bed, and I had to be careful because I almost hit myself and knocked myself out,” Diesel recalled during an interview.

The actor remains thankful for his opportunity

After being impressed with Vin Diesel’s performance in the movie, Spielberg wrote him a role in the 1997 film, Saving Private Ryan. “And [my agent] said, ‘No, wait a minute, there’s more. He’s writing a role for you.’ I said, ‘Well, do I have to audition?’ ‘No, he’s writing a role for you because he saw your short film, Multi-Facial”, the actor continued.

Diesel to this day still credits Spielberg for launching his career, and Spielberg seems to share the same sentiments. “I hatched him in my own incubator,” Spielberg joked when speaking about Diesel. Diesel is now set to play the Valiant Comics character Bloodshot in a film of the same name. The movie is set to premiere this March. Diesel will also reprise his role in the next Fast and Furious film, F9, and will also star in the next two Avatar films.