Vin Diesel: 99 Problems But A Witch Ain’t One
So if you work hard and eat your protein bars then one day you too could convince someone to finance a film based on your long-term Dungeons & Dragons character. That’s our take away here. For The Last Witch Hunter, big Vinny Diesel has ditched the turbo-charged sports cars for a flaming sword, to star as Kaulder, the centuries-old guardian of the human world who has lost his family, friends and perhaps even his hope in the battle against the dark forces. You know, the usual.
And yes, Kaulder is based on a character from Diesel’s days as an avid gamer – particularly his more than 20-year fascination with the popular fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Thanks to the power of the internet, Mr Diesel filled us in on a few choice bits of info, most importantly what he’ll be dressing up as for Halloween and what he’s really afraid of.
You’re playing a guy who hunts witches in modern New York. Would you say you’re a superstitious person?
I take things from my kids. I guess I’m as superstitious as the next person. I’ll knock on wood – maybe I shouldn’t. Sometimes I do. I believe on some level we’re all superstitious; when I get on a plane, I cross myself. Like everybody, I have some form of superstition. I think it’s part of our culture.
Your character Kaulder is immortal, is there a superpower you’d like to have? And are you afraid of anything in real life?
I don’t think it’s a superpower. I think being afraid of things and having a healthy fear of things can be good as it allows you to pay attention to it, and it allows you to monitor it. I think for me, like most artists, or most people who are ambitious – like a Mark Zuckerberg – I think the fear of failure is always present and prominent. I feel like the fear of failure makes us do great things.
Getting a movie made about your favourite D&D character is surely a sign you’ve made it, what advice would you give young actors in Hollywood these days who are hoping to reach such heights? It must be even tougher now…
Is it tougher today? I don’t know. I know that I started acting when I was seven, and I know that I had gone 20 years, and I wasn’t able to realise the dream that I wanted. I was still doing off-off Broadway plays. I’d come out to California when I was 22 or 23, and I failed miserably. I had to go back to New York with my tail between my legs. I had to go back to bouncing in nightclubs and I had to go back to sleeping on friends’ couches. At that point, I started learning how to be a director and I had to not only direct, I had to write the film and I had to cut the film – I was literally renting a Steenbeck and splicing film together, and taping it together to edit the movie. Nowadays, you can make a movie on your iPhone. For many years, I’ve had this non-profit organisation called ‘The One-Race Global Film Foundation’. My mantra in that is simple. Two words: make product. Now you can make product. You can make a seven-second Vine video and that’s product. The ability to make product is significantly easier now; but that’s not to say that the industry is easier now. A lot of things have changed. Now there are no shoestring budget films, like there were back in the El Mariachi days of the ‘90s.
As a man who loved Dungeons & Dragons, what will you be at Halloween?
What am I going to be at Halloween? That’s a good question. I haven’t thought about what I’m going to be. Maybe I’ll be a Balrog!
The Last Witch Hunter is out now on Digital and Feb 3rd on Blu-Ray & DVD.