Vin Diesel, also known as Mark Sinclair, became a household name playing the role of Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious franchise. But did you know he once came close to missing out on the massively successful film franchise? Read on.
The 53-year-old actor is one of the worlds highest-grossing actors in Hollywood. He has gained the reputation of action star after appearing in Fast & Furious, XXX, and The Chronicles of Riddick film franchises.
During an appearance on Entertainment Weekly’s Binge podcast, Vin Diesel revealed that he almost backed out of the first Fast & Furious film. He said that he had second thoughts about the heist film after reading an early draft of the screenplay that was lacking.
Diesel said, “Universal ended up being involved in the release of Pitch Black, the only other movie I had done of that size, and so they said, “We got this movie that’s about illegal street car racing, and we want you to play this character, who’s a tough guy, outlaw, with a heart and a code.”
He also recalled at the podcast, “Then they describe that scene you see in the first movie, where the camera goes through my eye and down my arm and into the engine, and that’s the only thing they described. And I said, “Yes, I’m in!”‘
However, Vin Diesel had second thoughts about the role and his commitment once he had a chance to actually read the script. He said, “The next day I’m supposed to go to the premiere in Australia for Pitch Black, and I read the script and I go… [pauses and sighs]. I’m conflicted here because this script is not what I thought it would be.”
However, David Ayer, who is well known for writing the Oscar-winning film Training Day (and later directing the critically acclaimed DC Comics film Suicide Squad), was assigned for writing the film. And a conversation with him put Diesel at ease.
“The irony is, I felt like I had gotten what the character wanted to be in the first script, but I felt there were things conflicting with this truth — and that’s where David came in,’ he continued. ‘I remember him saying, “The Dom character is so complex, I’ve never seen anything like it since Alonzo [Denzel Washington’s Oscar-winning role in Training Day],” he said.
Vin Diesel added, “I appreciated that he was able to see the complexities of the character… And some other characters needed some fine-tuning as well, like the Letty character. I’m just so lucky they were open to it all and that they really wanted me to feel great and confident about it.”