BACK IN DRIVING SEAT; but Fatherhood Has Taught Vin to Slow Down and Appreciate Life

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), April 22, 2011 | Go to article overview

BACK IN DRIVING SEAT; but Fatherhood Has Taught Vin to Slow Down and Appreciate Life


Byline: Rick Fulton

HE may be a Hollywood hero who likes his big-screen action fast and furious - but Vin Diesel won't even let his own daughter eat too much sugar.

The 43-year-old is back this week in the fifth instalment of the street-car franchise Fast & Furious.

It's been two years since he last played Fast & Furious anti-hero Dominic Toretto.

And in that time, he's been raising daughter Hania, three, with his girlfriend, model Paloma Jimenez.

The actor, whose real name is Mark Vincent - he was dubbed Diesel by bouncer mates because he had bags of energy - admitted that being a dad has softened his heart.

And it doesn't seem like he wants his own thirst for adrenalin to rub off on his daughter.

He said: "I don't like to think of myself as too over-protective but I guess somebody else could say I am.

"I mean, I'm really particular about my kid eating sugar and stuff like that. I might push it a little far."

He added: "Now I feel bad for putting a helmet on her when I put her on the back of my bike. " Being a dad affected his film work on Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist. The testosterone may still 'Ten years stunts.

it's be pumping on set but as soon as he got home, he was daddy again.

He said: "The best part of the job now is coming home, feeling like you've done something significant and looking at your kid's eyes and knowing that you're doing it for her."

He also reckons being a dad has changed him as a person: "Totally. To-tal-ly, in so many ways.

"I guess you could say it's affected our work, the idea we are dealing with pregnancy in a movie of this size is kind of unique and unusual.

"That you would have your two action stars discussing fatherhood on a porch is kind of not what people who go to action films are really kind of expecting. I think it adds another level of depth to the saga."

The new film sees the return of Jordana Brewster as Dom's sister Mia and Paul Walker as former cop Brian O'Connor, and introduces Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as their new nemesis Lucas Hobbs.

But filming meant Vin had to leave his daughter at home.

He said: "As I'm leaving the house, she takes my hand, pulls me down to the ground, and says, 'You are my life'. I did not want to get on the plane at that point, obviously." Not that fatherhood has turned Vin to into a big girl's blouse. He became the action hero for the new millennium in films such as xXx and the Fast & Furious franchise, which has earned a billion dollars at the box office since the first film was released in 2001.

The new movie, out now, is another high-octane rampage - although a few things have changed.

Vin grumbles, for example, that the studios won't let him do so many of his own stunts these days.

He said: "Ten years ago, I was allowed to do a lot more stunts. But I was a new actor - now I think it's about protecting assets.

"I don't know if it's because of a lot of accidents. I don't know if it's because the inclusion of CGI at the level we are dealing with now in film - I don't know why."

Still, Vin said he still tries to do "as much as I possibly can".

He added: "I go to the stunt driving school before we start.

"The studio, however, can and do rip me out of the car every now and then and put a stunt guy in, which is frustrating because I'm dying to do all of the driving.

"But I did all the physical stunts, including a jump off a favella roof.

"I think they just get worried that I put too much into the stunt and I could hurt myself.

do more now "When I jumped off that roof, I just kept falling but I knew the Hobbs character was coming out of the window below me. You jump off the roof and then a couple of stories down there's a mat - and I overshot the mat.

the Hobbs character was coming out of the window below me. …

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