Steven Spielberg Changed Vin Diesel’s Life With Saving Private Ryan

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”?

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