Vin Diesel recently starred alongside Michelle Yeoh in 20th Century Fox’s ‘Babylon A.D.’, and was also seen in the courtroom drama ‘Find Me Guilty’, directed by renowned filmmaker Sidney Lumet. He is a mainstay of the Fast and Furious franchise and with a diverse genre of films under his belt, Flavour just had to get a little closer to this 5 star hunk…

He moved into comedy with ‘The Pacifier’, and in the much-anticipated science-fiction feature ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’, he reprised the title role of Richard B. Riddick, hero of the cult favourite, ‘Pitch Black’. He has also starred in the action-thriller ‘A Man Apart’, along with ‘xXx’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Boiler Room’, ‘Knockaround Guys’ and ‘The Iron Giant’, which won an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature.

Tell me about the opening to Fast and Furious 5…

What’s unique about this Fast and Furious is that it’s the first film that opens with the scene that the last Fast and Furious ended with.  It’s the first time that we as a franchise have directly continued the story, which I think is something that the audience has been craving and will appreciate. We meet Dom on the prison bus, which is where we left him in Fast Four, and within seconds our story begins…

Five films over ten years: why has this franchise proved so enduring?

The critical reason is that after the first three movies we made a conscious decision not just to ‘make another sequel’, but to imagine what a series of sequels would look like. We approached it like making a trilogy, creating three films that all spoke to one another. We’re on the second part at the moment and when you see this movie, you can start to imagine what the next one will look like. That sense of continuity is now a trademark of the franchise, it is something that we adopted after Tokyo Drift, and it has proven to be more successful than we ever imagined. To see how ecstatic the audience are with the knowledge that this story is becoming a saga is what I find most exciting about this franchise.

How tough on the body was your fight on screen with Dwayne Johnson?

I think that we were both depleted, physically and emotionally. Dwayne and I worked for three weeks after we had learned the choreography, and then for a week during filming when we shot the scene. There’s probably no one in the industry who could deliver what Dwayne delivers. In terms of stunt fighting and stunt choreography, there is no one with his experience, so to have him as a fight partner was fantastic. The miracle was that after five days of fighting the two of us could walk off set on our own!

What was the most challenging action sequence?

Lots of sequences are challenging in their own way. What makes the fight scene between Dwayne and myself challenging is that it is so based in an emotion – one guy is fighting for his livelihood while the other is fighting for his family. It’s bizarre, because when you watch what is being called ‘the best fight in film’ you’d expect the audience to clap at the end of the sequence, but the audience is so engaged in something deeper that they refrain from clapping. That’s a testament to how deeply this sequence plays.

Do you have a passion for fast cars?

It was something that developed during the time I was making these films. I’m from New York City and when you’re growing up as a city boy, you’re lucky if you get to ride the subway without jumping the turnstiles.

What are your favourite cars in the movie?

I have a real preference: casting the cars is a really important part of creating Dom and the Dom mythology. Fortunately, I do prefer the American muscle cars. I’m not a [Nissan] Skyline guy like Paul.

This is the biggest film in the franchise so far, what can we expect from the next movie?

If Five has the best fight sequence in film, Six will have the best sex sequence
in the film!

Fast & Furious 5 is released on Blu-ray and DVD from September 5th.