Has Vin Diesel turned into a softie?
Diesel told the crowd at Comic-Con on Friday that he struggles to watch his character Riddick on screen because he’s so violent, often questioning why he’s killing certain people.
“What’s inside of Riddick is so scary,” Diesel said. “Now that I have kids, when I watch [Riddick] there’s a part of me that feels guilty.”
Diesel first played the character 13 years ago in “Pitch Black,” a cult hit that birthed a sequel, “The Chronicles of Riddick.”
Many thought that film was the end of the franchise, but Diesel and writer/director David Twohy decided to try and make a third one. They never thought they would convince a studio to fund them, so they conceived it as an independent movie sitting around Diesel’s kitchen.
“I would sit on the counter; Vin would roam around trying not to smoke his American Spirits,” Twohy recalled.
Eventually, Twohy wrote a script on spec that told a survival story, and later sold the movie overseas in several territories before convincing Universal, which disrtibuted the first two films, to release it in the United States.
In between the first Riddick and now, Diesel ascended to a new level of stardom for a different tough guy – Dom Toretto, the linchpin of Universal’s “Fast and Furious” franchise. Diesel said that though Toretto “has a certain level of anger in him,” he is ultimately driven by the love he has for his family.
His passion for inhabiting characters stems from playing “Dungeons & Dragons” — the most famous role-playing game of all time.
“Dungeons & Dragons was the training ground for my imagination,” Diesel told the crowd. He had already started acting when he began playing the game, which predated modern RPGs like Warcraft.
“It didn’t take more than a couple hours before you believed you were a witch hunter,” Diesel said. "The fantasy role palying world I was so immersed in played itself out in the way I approach mythology."
So maybe next time he'll play someone warm and cuddly?