Vin Diesel Aims To Dazzle

People look on from behind barricades outside a special bombproof courtroom in a central Mumbai jail where Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman in the Mumbai attacks is being held for trial in Mumbai, India, Monday, July 20, 2009. Kasab pleaded guilty Monday and gave a detailed account of the plot and his role in the rampage that left 166 people dead and paralyzed the city for three days.The writing in the barricade reads " Mumbai Central jail".
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Actor Vin Diesel has quickly climbed to the top of the Hollywood ranks as a new action hero with a resume that includes "Saving Private Ryan", "Pitch Black" and "The Fast And The Furious."

His latest role is super-cool agent Xander Cage in the new film "XXX."

In an interview on The Early Show, Diesel's says Cage is a dark horse who makes a living selling Web videos of his outrageous extreme stunts and captures the interest of the National Security Agency. When it recruits him for a mission, Cage is unwilling to help, finally going into action as a reluctant hero.

Diesel says he might not be the greatest actor or the most handsome, but he is not shy to say he is pretty "cool." His style was put to the test when he shared screen time on "XXX" with actor Samuel L. Jackson.

In an upcoming project, he will play a contemporary Jewish gangster in "Knockaround Guys" with Seth Green, Barry Pepper, Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich.

He will reprise the role of Riddick in "The Chronicles of Riddick" (sequel to "Pitch Black") to be filmed later this year. He reportedly will make $20 million for that role.

Fast Facts On Vin Diesel

  • Born Mark Vincent in New York, N.Y., on July 18, 1967
  • Attended Hunter College in New York City and majored in English but dropped out.
  • Began acting at age 7, appearing with the Theatre for the New City.
  • Began writing scripts in 1992 and directed short film, "Multi-Facial." It was shown at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.
  • Made his feature directorial debut, "Strays," in 1997 that he also scripted, produced and starred.
  • Featured in "Saving Private Ryan" as the ill-fated Lieutenant Caparzo in 1998.
  • Voiced the title character in the animated feature "The Iron Giant" in 1999.
  • Starred as Riddick, a futuristic ex-con, in the sci-fi thriller "Pitch Black" in 2000 and in the ensemble movie "Boiler Room."
  • Starred as gang leader Dominic Toretto in "The Fast and the Furious" and had leading role in "El Diablo" in 2001.