Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. Was it an easy decision to do this film?
A. Yes, because to me The Pacifier felt like a true classic
Disney family comedy. It’s about a man who’s never
really known a family, who’s always avoided getting close
to anybody. Only now, without any training for it, he’s
forced into having to try to be a caring father figure to these
five unruly kids. I just thought it was a great concept.
Q. So was it easy to put aside the tough guy persona?
A. Put a nine-month-old baby in Vin Diesel's hands, and
you're going to get a big softie. I couldn't help it. I mean,
all that formidable, unapproachable stuff went right out the window
once I started holding this nine-month-old baby. And it made for
an incredible experience. It was a lot of fun. You would think
that I would go into a situation like this somewhat anxious because
it's a comedy, but Adam Shankman is such a great comedy director,
it was easy. I felt like all I did was baby-sit.
Q. Had you changed diapers before?
A. I had training believe it or not. But it all came
pretty naturally to me. I was just always in a good mood on this
film. Usually the roles I play are dark, brooding, stoic characters,
and here it was a completely different atmosphere. I was running
around playing video games, throwing babies into the air, being
chased by a three-year-old. It was just so much fun that it didn’t
even seem fair.
Q. So did you do this role specifically to combat your
action guy image?
A. It wasn't necessarily because it was a comedy, it
was just a fun script, and the script was very clever in the way
that it played on people's perceptions of the roles that I've
previously played. I mean, that's incorporated in the story in
that I’m meant to be a Navy S.E.A.L. But it wasn't to combat
the action thing. It was more to combat the fact that I hadn't
done a movie that a family can see.
Every movie I’ve done you have to hire a babysitter for.
I mean, I have nieces and nephews who had been asking for many
years, when are you going to do a movie for us, Uncle Vin?
Q. They hadn’t seen any movie you’d done?
A. Well, they’re only six and eight now, so the
only thing they could see was The Iron Giant. And since that was
animated, I wasn't even on the screen. So all they have is The
Iron Giant piggy bank that has my voice on it. And it may sound
cheesy or corny, but I really remember the movies that I went
to see with my whole family. It could have been Guys and Dolls,
it could have been My Fair Lady. Whatever it was, the experience
of going to a movie with my whole family was just very special.
Someone put it brilliantly to me earlier today: 'The family that
watches a movie together stays together'.
Q. Did you ever set out to be an action star?
A. No, I mean I did Saving
Private Ryan early on. Not an action film at all. But I think
it started because I did Pitch
Black. When I did The
Fast and the Furious, to me, it wasn't far off from a Rebel
Without a Cause or The Wild One if you really think about it,
but that got tagged with the action genre and that got amplified
a little bit when they made the sequel, even though I wasn’t
I gravitate towards the character as every actor does, then the
story. And then the genre is the last consideration. The other
thing is, I don't know what people's perception of me really is.
'Cause I never thought that I would have to do a film to convince
people that I love kids. I thought that that was so obvious and
And it was funny on the set of The Pacifier because whenever the
babies would cry, they’d call me to duty. They started calling
me The Baby Whisperer. I mean, even if I wasn't on set, and a
baby was crying in another scene, they would call me in from the
trailer to come in and make the baby laugh again.
Q. The kids in the movie
make fun of your pecs. Was that the first time that happened?
A. Not really, because I was in an audition 18 years
ago for a little infomercial and I was wearing a tank top and
I had just gotten out of the gym and I was very, very nervous.
And for some reason my pecs were moving involuntarily throughout
the whole audition. And they're like, are you doing that to show
off? Is that part of your audition piece? I did get the job though.
Q. Did making The Pacifier make you want to have kids
of your own?
A. Yeah, I'm not kidding when I say I would like children.
I was already there, but The Pacifier made me more conscious of
Q. What kind of father would you like to be?
A. That's the trick; I want to be a great father like
mine. And I think sometimes when you have such amazing parents
- and my parents are still together - it takes you that much longer
to have a relationship that meets these standards that you're
raised with, or these standards that you're most familiar with.
So the goal is to be a father like my father.
Q. But right now you're working all the time...
A. Yeah, I'm working all the time and for so much of
my life acting and the world of creating films has been my primary
thing. I used to think it was discipline, but I don’t know
if it’s a disease to be such a workaholic. I'm a self-admitted
workaholic. My father's a workaholic too. He's 70-years-old and
he still wants to get a film into Cannes.
Q. So you’re always thinking of the next film?
A. Yes, once a movie's done, I'm finished with it. I
don't see them again, I don't read the reviews, I don't watch
the DVD. I'm always trying to work on the next project and get
that project done. And the more challenging it is, the more interesting.
So for me, for like four years, it was impossible to get Chronicles
Of Riddick made. That was challenging, that was fun, that
was everything for a while, and for the last two or three years
it's been the movie I want to make about Hannibal.
Q. So what else do you have coming up?
A. I just did this film with Sidney Lumet, during the
second half of the last year, that's the antithesis of The Pacifier.
It’s called Find Me Guilty. I play Jackie DiNorscio. He's
a real guy, 47-years-old, who defended himself for three years
in court on mob charges.
And it was very demanding to do a film where you're playing a
real human being, because you make this unspoken contract that
you are going to immortalize this person's life and represent
what this person stood for. Add to that, I had to gain 30 pounds,
which was a very challenging thing because I've always been connected
to my physicality.
Q. How did you gain the weight?
A. I ordered in. I had ice cream every night. It was
a very weird experience. I didn't leave my house. If I was done
on Friday night, I'd lock myself in the apartment until Monday
morning. I was just eating and sitting.
Q. It sounds depressing.
A. It was very dark, but that’s the film. I mean,
I kept this weight on for three or four months and I did two and
a half hours of makeup every morning to add the age, because I
had to dispel everyone in that room's perception that they were
seeing Vin Diesel. They had to see Jackie DiNorscio.
Q. It sounds like a complete contrast with The Pacifier?
A. Completely. So last year was fascinating in that I
had this dark, intense experience with Sidney Lumet and then this
joyous experience with Adam on The Pacifier. The Pacifier was
non-stop laughter. Like I said, it didn’t feel like work.