Vin Diesel attends the red carpet for the Mexico City premiere of "Fast X" at Plaza Toreo Parque Central on May 15, 2023 in Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico.

Vin Diesel is known for two things: the Fast & Furious franchise and “family.” The actor, who plays Dominic Toretto in the movies, was born Mark Sinclair on July 18, 1967, in California. He’s got a Twin Diesel — his fraternal twin brother named Paul Vincent. He has never met his biological father and was raised by his mother, Delora Sherleen Vincent, and adoptive father, Irving H. Vincent. At age seven, Diesel made his stage debut when he appeared in the children’s play Dinosaur Door in New York. When he was working as a bouncer at a nightclub in the city years later, he adopted his stage name “Vin Diesel” to sound tougher. His friends used to call him “Diesel” because of his tendency to be energetic.

The Start of Vin Diesel’s Career In Hollywood

Diesel’s first film role was as an uncredited extra in the drama film Awakenings in 1990. After several years of struggle to land roles, he decided to make his own short film. The short film would help secure funds for his feature film debut. In 1994, he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the short drama film Multi-Facial. The 21-minute semi-autobiographical film was selected for screening at the 1995 Cannes Festival.

Two years later, he had enough funding to make his first feature-length film, a hidden gem called Strays. The film is an urban drama in which he played a gang leader whose love for a woman inspires him to try to change his ways. He wrote, directed, produced, and starred in this one as well. The film was selected for competition at the 1997 Sundance Festival. This lead to an MTV deal to turn it into a series, but it never came to fruition. Director Steven Spielberg took notice of Diesel after seeing him in Multi-Facial and cast him in a small role as a soldier in 1998’s Oscar-winning Saving Private Ryan. This marked Diesel’s first major Hollywood film role. The following year, he provided the voice for the title character in the animated film The Iron Giant.

Diesel attained action hero stardom with The Fast and the Furious in 2001 and as Xander Cage in 2002’s XXX (2002). He turned down both film’s sequels and rather starred in the family action comedy, The Pacifier. Diesel reprised his role as Dominic Toretto in the following Fast & Furious franchise sequels: Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), The Fate of the Furious (2017), F9 (2021) and Fast X (2023). Though the Fast franchise seems to be overdone at this point, there’s one thing that fans love about Diesel’s character: his commitment to “family.” Take a look below at five iconic Vin Diesel quotes from the Fast franchise.

  • 5. I’m one of those boys that appreciates a fine body, regardless of the make.

    Fast & Furious

    As we know, Dom Toretto’s kryptonites are cars and women. In this scene, he is questioned by Gisele (Gal Gadot) if he prefers cars over women, and his answer is 100% smooth.

  • 4. Money will come and go. We know that. But the most important thing in life will always be the people in this room. Right here. Right now. Salud mi famiglia.

    Fast Five

    In this scene, Toretto toasts his Fast family. The franchise always instilled a feeling of family among friends and this toast is one of the better examples of that.

  • 3. Ask any racer -- any real racer. It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.

    The Fast and the Furious

    This line set the tone for his strenuous, but fruitful relationship between Toretto and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker).

  • 2. I don’t have friends, I got family.

    Furious 7

    In Paul Walker’s last Fast and Furious movie, Jason Statham’s character, Deckard Shaw, asks Toretto if he’s heard the saying: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” After hearing his response, Shaw says, “Well, I got a lot of friends,” and boom. Explosions galore.

  • 1. I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bulls---. For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.

    The Fast and the Furious

    In one of the most emotional scenes in the entire Fast franchise so far, Toretto tells O’Conner the story behind his father’s death and why he doesn’t race his Dodge Charger.

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