Indian fans will appreciate ‘Babylon A.D.’ stunts : Vin Diesel (Interview)

October 12th, 2008 - 9:11 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) Hollywood actor Vin Diesel, known for performing his death-defying stunts himself, says he hasn’t yet come across stunts that are really dangerous. He, however, did enjoy jumping off a mountain on a snow-mobile in his latest film “Babylon A.D.” - which he hopes Indian fans will like.”I haven’t faced a film role yet with potentially dangerous stunts. I hope I get to do them because when I do that kind of action, rather than relying on doubles, I believe there is some added integrity that I bring to the character,” Diesel told IANS in an e-mail interview.

“For example, I loved doing all those jumps in ‘xXx’. I did all the stunt scenes by my own even though we had a stunt guy to cover for me. I want that authenticity,” he said.

Diesel’s latest film, sci-fi action thriller “Babylon A.D.”, released in India Friday, almost two months after its release in the US, and the star thinks Indian film buffs will enjoy it immensely.

“It’s an action packed thriller and I think hard-core action fans in India are going to appreciate it,” he said.

So how different is “Babylon A.D.” from his earlier action flicks?

“Everything in the film is bigger than life - cars are airlifted by giant electric helicopters; warriors square off in vicious combat inside a ‘fight cage’; snowmobiles fly through the air while exchanging gunfire; missiles shoot through the streets.”

The actor had an adrenaline-pumping experience while performing a scene where he jumps off a mountain on a snowmobile.

“The snowmobile scene was my favourite. There is a group of guys we worked with called The Slednecks, (a snowmobile stunt team) and you see them doing jumps off mountains in Alaska. They were amazing. I was able to sneak off with the snowmobiles and did 20-foot jumps off the top of the mountains,” he said.

Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, “Babylon A.D.” is an epic action-adventure and futuristic thriller about genetic manipulation set in the not-too-distant future and adapted from the novel “Babylon Babies” by Maurice Georges Dantec.

It stars Mélanie Thierry, Michelle Yeoh and Lambert Wilson along with Diesel, who plays Hugo Cornelius Thoorop, a ruthless mercenary.

And how did he prepare himself to get into the skin of the character Thoorop?

“My character Thoorop is lean, powerful and apparently indestructible. You can see the type of guy he is in his tattoos; they look like he’s picked them up in different cells and different Russian mercenary groups. Thoorop has a lot of scars as well. I went through an hour of make-up and they (make-up team) did something to my skin to make it look really leathery and weathered.”

Diesel began his career with Penny Marshall’s drama “Awakenings” in 1990 as a hospital attendant. He was next seen in a self-produced short film “Multi-Facial” in 1994 that brought him to the notice of filmmaker Steven Spielberg who then cast him in “Saving Private Ryan” in 1998.

However, he shot to fame with 2001’s unexpected summer hit “The Fast and the Furious” - a film about turbo-charged car racing where he played Dominic Toretto followed by his role as Xander Cage, a law-breaking extreme sports enthusiast and rebel in “xXx”.

Not many people know that Diesel served as a bouncer and security guard in nightclubs in New York for nine years before he took to acting. The actor also credits his earlier job for his action-hero image.

“The way I behaved as a bouncer helped me get roles as an action hero and soon I started getting noticed. I’m blessed that I came across the right opportunities and when Steven Spielberg noticed me in ‘Multi-Facial’, he had a role that he thought I would do justice to. Things started falling into place,” he quipped.

Diesel now wants to play more complex characters.

“I am drawn to complex characters. I’m attracted to the idea of playing a nefarious character that reveals some core of goodness inside him. I like the idea of playing a criminal who has an interesting or spiritual side to him. I would also love to do a family comedy for my daughter,” he added.

His forthcoming projects include “Hannibal”, “Player’s Rules” and the fourth instalment of the “The Fast and the Furious” series.

Diesel has three production companies - One Race Films, Tigon Studios and Racetrack Records. The first one is currently producing “Hannibal - the Barbarian,” a children’s animated series.

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