You might know Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto, the fearless leader of the Fast and Furious movies. What you might not know, is that his name isn’t just to sound cool while living life a quarter mile at a time. The action movie star actually adopted the moniker for a whole different career.
Until his late teens, Vin Diesel was Mark Sinclair. When a young Sinclair got a job as a bouncer for New York nightclub while he was studying in college, he decided he needed to be someone tougher sounding.
‘Vin’ is derived from his mother and step-father’s last name, while the ‘Diesel’ comes from a reputation for being high-energy with friends.
At least, that’s what he explained on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Stage names are common in acting. In many cases, they’re necessary so actors can be awarded proper royalties and such.
Vin Diesel is a distinct, eye-catching title, and it doesn’t hurt that it feels thematic with cars, since Fast and Furious has become such a world-conquering franchise.
Existing under a different name is something Diesel’s used to as a fan of tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons. He’s even used names from his campaigns in thriller movies.
Dom Toretto is back on the big screen next year for Fast and Furious 10. He’ll be joined by Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, and more of the regular Fast and Furious characters we’ve come to know and love.
Keep an eye out for the next time he uses a pseudonym, it might just reference his own past.