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Vin Diesel is the guy they get for the Scary Black Man role when they can't get a fully black guy.

Not really, but still.

Vin has spent most of his film career playing bald, brawny Badass guys who sound like they gargle with thumbtacks and whiskey. (Which is the basis of his appeal for some.) However, unlike most action stars, Vin has a huge advantage that helps to get him fanboys: he is a massive geek. A massive geek who could break your spine. Seriously, the guy loves D&D so much, he wrote his own campaigns, got a temp tattoo of the name of his D&D character in XXX (it's "Melkor", if you're wondering), and even started his own video game company because he was tired of people making crappy video games out of his movies. Their first project (although not for long) was teaming up with Starbreeze Studios to make The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, which many people named as actually being better than the accompanying film, and was named as being the best action game on the X Box at the time. When they released the sequel, a large percentage of its sales were just because it included the original levels. So yeah, it was pretty good.

It gets better: one of the upcoming games is about his player character. Penny Arcade is actually attempting (kind of) to get him to join them in one of their podcasted D&D campaigns[1].

Vin's probably most known for his work on the The Chronicles of Riddick and The Fast and the Furious (specifically the first and last film) series, but he's done many things, from big budget action flicks like XXX and Saving Private Ryan, to writing, directing, and starring in indie docu-dramas. He also voiced the title character in The Iron Giant. It also bears saying that he's one of the premiere examples of Mean Character, Nice Actor because while Riddick is a Magnificent Bastard and a murderer, Vin Diesel is reportedly a very sweet, polite guy.

Also, you know that "Chuck Norris facts" fad that you may have heard of? Originally, those were all Vin facts. The best one of the lot? "Rearranging the letters in Vin Diesel's name reveals his credo: I End Lives."

Notes

  1. despite the very real possibility that putting both Riddick and Wesley Crusher in the same room would destroy the universe
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