As Vin Diesel explained, his failure auditioning for roles as an actor is what led to him making films about his real-life struggles in the first place. He was actually making ends meet as a telemarketer when he got the call from Steve Spielberg about a potential job in 1997. As Diesel remembered it:
“He asked me to meet him on the set of ‘Amistad.’ And I remember thinking, ‘How should I look?’ He’s writing a role for me based on my being a director, so what do I do here? And what was I going to say to him? I promised myself I wouldn’t say something he’s probably heard a thousand times, like, ‘I’m a big fan of your work.’ And, lo and behold, I get in front of him and he says, ‘I’m a fan of your work,’ and I say, ‘I’m such a fan of your work.'”
Spielberg, who wanted to work with Diesel after seeing “Multi-Facial,” was clearly charmed by this response. He would go on to cast Diesel as the decent-but-doomed Private Caparzo in “Saving Private Ryan,” solidifying him as a talent on the rise. The rest, as the proverbial saying goes, is history, with Diesel evolving into a full-blown action star over the course of the aughts.
In 2020, Diesel told The National about another encounter he had with Spielberg:
“… He had said to me, ‘When I wrote the role for you in ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ I was obviously employing the actor, but I was also secretly championing the director in you, and you have not directed enough. That is a crime of cinema and you must get back in the directing chair.’ I haven’t directed enough.”
I guess there’s still “Fast X: Part 2”?