What’s Vin Diesel’s Real Name And Why Did He Change It?

ver the last two decades, Vin Diesel has become a household name. From his longtime role as Dominic Toretto in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise to playing Riddick in the “Chronicles of Riddick” series to his MCU part as the alien Groot in all his forms, Diesel has been a staple of blockbuster action movies since the early 2000s.

However, longtime fans may be wondering where he got the moniker of “Vin Diesel” in the first place. Because the name is clearly a tough guy action handle, fans would be right to assume it isn’t his real name. In fact, the actor’s real name is the much more innocuous-sounding Mark Sinclair.

So, how did Sinclair become Diesel? Well, that has to do with one of his professions before he became a Hollywood action star. As the actor and producer told host Conan O’Brien on a 2006 episode of “Late Night,” the name actually comes from his time as a bouncer in New York City. The actor told O’Brien that because of the dangerous nature of the profession, many would choose to adopt a pseudonym for safety purposes. “In New York, when you’re a bouncer, the last thing you do is tell everybody your real name because of all the problems,” he explained. “The other bouncers started calling me Vin Diesel — and it stuck.”

Read more: Why Hollywood Won’t Cast Wesley Snipes Anymore

Vin Diesel Is Pretty Much A Perfect Name For An Action Star

Dominic Toretto driving car

Dominic Toretto driving car© Universal Pictures

In fact, Conan O’Brien began the interview by sharing just how much he loved the name “Vin Diesel.” “A lot of people you know create a name when they get to show business,” the “Late Night” host mused. “Vin Diesel is one of my favorites. It’s such a cool name; it’s a good name,” he went on. “There’s no way to say Vin Diesel in an uncool way.” The host and comedian also complimented Diesel’s brusque, growly manner of speech, which caused the action star to explain some funny background details about how his voice affected his teenage years.

“My voice started changing when I was about 16, [or] 15. Right, and my friends would, I would call my friend’s house, and their mother would pick up the phone and say, ‘Oh my God, who’s this,’ right?” he recalled. “I was [like] ‘is Dave there? Yeah,” and it was a sign of the times that my voice was changing into a man’s voice,” he concluded.

Well, between the name, the voice, and Diesel’s talent and charisma, the actor has since landed over 60 roles in film, television, animation, and video games. Furthermore, with future installments in both the “Riddick” and “The Fast and the Furious” franchises still being produced, it seems unlikely that the performer will be disappearing from the limelight any time soon.

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