Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Comic Side to Action Hero Vin

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Comic Side to Action Hero Vin

Article excerpt

Vin Diesel talks about his latest film, The Pacifier which opens in cinemas today

With his rippling biceps and shaven head, Hollywood macho man Vin Diesel seems an unlikely candidate to star in a family comedy.

Until now the 37-year-old New Yorker has largely been confined to action roles which play up his imposing physique and unmistakable granite voice.

But in time-honoured fashion, like a host of other action stars before him, that has been turned on its head as Vin is cast as an improbable commando turned nanny in The Pacifier.

Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop, as Vin plays, against audience expectations, a Navy SEAL assigned to babysit a government scientist's five children.

"I haven't done a movie the whole family could see other than voicing The Iron Giant, which was the only film I'd ever done for kids," he says.

"I remember the movies we went to see as a family were special events. There's not a lot of places you can take a family to but a good family movie and that's what The Pacifier is."

Having walked away from two lucrative pump-action franchises, The Fast And The Furious and xXx, Vin seems to be softening his Hollywood screen image.

In a case of Hollywood revolving doors he turned his back on xXx2 to do The Pacifier, while gangsta rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube went the other way from family comedy Are We There Yet? to being the second xXx agent.

But Vin thinks that's why the film could be a success.

"It plays on people's perceptions of previous characters I've played and that's what was fun about it," he says.

But working with children can melt even the toughest guy, the stage-trained actor admits.

"You can be the toughest guy in the world, but when you have a nine-month-old co-star staring at you, it makes it all worthwhile."

Despite his imposing image, Vin was actually very good with his little co-stars and was nicknamed the baby whisperer.

The intimidating part wasn't getting the kids to like him, it was making the humour work, he says.

"That was a source of anxiety to me initially because this is an all-out comedy. …

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