Transcript of Vin's appearance on The Tonight Show

<Jay>  Alright. Folks, we have a terrific show tonight. All "Tonight Show" virigins tonight. They're all guests that have never appeared on the program before. And you know my first guest from movies like "Pitch Black," "Saving Private Ryan." He's starring in this movie, "The Fast and the Furious." I love this movie! It's a great car movie. This is one of those guys you've seen in movies, you kinda go, "I like that guy." And he's becoming a big star. Vin Diesel. Vin Diesel is here. There he is right there. (cheers and applause)

<Jay> ...You know my first guest from movies like "Pitch Black," "Saving Private Ryan," "Boiler Room." His current new film "Fast and the Furious," I love this movie. It's a great car movie. I mean, if you're a car guy. No spic special effects! Real cars spinning out! And it's a good story, too. He does a terrific job. "The Fast and the Furious." It opens right now. Please welcome Vin Diesel! (cheers and applause)

<Jay> How are you, buddy? Good to see ya. (applause) Hey, thanks for coming.

<Vin> Thank you for having me.

<Jay> I've been looking forward to meeting. I met you once at a party real quick. But like I said, you're one of those guys that I would say, "Oooh, I like that guy. That guy's a cool guy. We gotta get him on the show." So I'm glad we finally got you. Now tell me about, I know you're from, you're from New York City?

<Vin> From New York City, yah.

<Jay> Now where in the city are you? Bronx guy? Queens guy?

<Vin> No, we lived all over, but I gew up for the majority in the Village.

<Jay> Ok, oh, in the Village, ok. Now, were you always an actor?

<Vin> I started acting when I was 7 years old.

<Jay> Oh, ok.

<Vin> A bunch of friends and I were terrorizing the neighborhood on our banana seat bikes.

<Jay> Right. (audience laughs)

<Vin> And we went into this seedy hotel called the James Street Hotel, and at the bottom of the hotel was a theatre called, which later became the Theatre for the New City. And we were in there, and we were vandalizing the place and running around playing tag, all these stupid little games, and a woman comes out of the darkness into the spotlight and says, "If you kids want to play here, come here every day at 4:00. Here's the script. Here's $20 a week."

<Jay> Wow. Well, that's pretty cool.

<Vin> Yah, it was the first time I ever made an audience laugh without getting sent to the principal's office. (audience laughs)

<Jay> Wow. So, and how long did that continue? Did that continue for a while?

<Vin> Well, unemployment continued for a very long... (laughs)

<Jay> Well, no, but, I mean performing in that, I mean, it's very nice, sometimes kids don't, people don't take the time when they see kids.

<Vin> That's true. I mean, they could have, you know, hauled us off, but it was, you know, I came from a very magical artistic environment.

<Jay> Yah.

<Vin> You know, grew up in artist housing, where...

<Jay> Now, when you say "artist housing," in New York?

<Vin> Government-subsidized housing for artists that are poor but excellent and talented.

<Jay> Wow. I didn't even know that. I didn't know we had that.

<Vin> Yah, its a very rare thing.

<Jay> Like a homeless guy that can paint. Hey! (audience laughs)

<Vin> Not a lot of it, but, and so, there were a lot of poets and sculptors and playwrights and musicians and jazz musicians.

<Jay> And you're a twin, is that right?

<Vin> I'm a twin.

<Jay> Ok.

<Vin> I'm a twin. (audience laughs) There's more people here than at the Ziegfield on a Saturday night!

<Jay> Oh, really? Well, that's probably true, and some are actually watching at home.

<Vin> No! (laughs) Oooh, this does get interesting.

<Jay> But are you an exact twin?

<Vin> No, he's the antithesis of me. He's got blonde hair and blue eyes.

<Jay> I don't think that's a twin. (audience laughs)

<Vin> Yah, it's a freak show.

<Jay> I mean, are you twins, like, do you have that thing where, if you're in California, you go "Ring!," he's in New York, and he goes, "Hello?" I mean...

<Vin> No no no. He's got two lovely kids. He's married. He's been married for 12 years.

<Jay> So who's the older?

<Vin> That's a very good question.

<Jay> You don't know?

<Vin> No, I do know, but it's a very important fact, 'cause I'm 14 minutes older than my brother.

<Jay> And I'll bet you don't lord that over him. (laughs)

<Vin> Well, it does come with it's perks, if you know what I mean.

<Jay> Really? Now, do you really see yourself as the older brother based on this 14 minutes?

<Vin> Well, I had to deal with being the older brother. I had to deal with the added responsibility of being...

<Jay> Got your licence first. (audience laughs)

<Vin> I got devirginized first.

<Jay> Right, you really got, so he had to wait ten minutes? I see. (laughter)

<Vin> No, no. I have a really good story.

<Jay> Really?

<Vin> I almost shouldn't do it.

<Jay> Oh, no, now you have to do it. (laughs)

<Vin> He's gonna kill me.

<Jay>> I never even heard of "devirginized." That's even a word I didn't know existed. So go ahead.

<Vin> All right. My brother is with his girlfriend. He's 16 years old and he comes upstairs to the house and asked my father if he should do this, if he should actually have sex. And my father says, "You know, I don't...Paul, I really don't think you should. I think you should wait, you know? Because this is an important thing." And had he done it, he would have lost his virginity before me. But that's like a real stupid thing to talk about on Jay Leno. You know, you wait your whole life to get on Jay Leno and you talk about virginity! (laughs)
<Jay> Did you flip your dad a 20 for doing that? "Thanks, P."

<Vin> I was like, "Dad, boy, you made me macho." (laughs)

<Jay> Now your mom, she was an astrologer?

<Vin> An astrologist, yah. She is, but she's not the kind of astrologist that says, you know, "Don't go to school today."

<Jay> "You will meet a friend today." "I did! I can't believe it!"

<Vin> Yah, not the goofy...

<Jay> But she's like a psychologist, too, isn't it?

<Vin> Yah, she's reinforced with a Masters in Psychology.

<Jay> Now, how does that work for you? Like, you say, "Mom, I'm auditioning..." "You already got it." I mean, do you get that?

<Vin> No, it's more like "Mom, I'm auditioning..." "So, what are you bothering me for?" (laughs)

<Jay> Is she impressed with showbiz? I mean, is this, like, cool? You grow up and you were in the little basement and the thing in the artist community, and now you're a big movie star. I mean, that's gotta be, she's gotta be, like, "Oooh, this is very cool."  

<Vin> She's not that easily impressed.

<Jay> No?

<Vin> No. No, when I did "Saving Private Ryan," and that was, like, a big thing, I flew her out to Ireland and we went to London and Tom Hanks threw my 30th birthday.

<Jay> Right.

<Vin> And so it's Tom Hanks, his wife Rita, Steven Spielberg and Kate, and a few other cast members at the bottom of the Dorchester hotel. And you know, what's better than having your son being honoured, you know what I mean? So I asked my mother later, you know, I said, "Aren't you shell-shocked that, you know, that these people threw my birthday party?" And she was just like, "You know, I always thought you had it in you."

<Jay> Oh, yah.

<Vin> I'm like, "Mom, come on."

<Jay> But, see, moms never...

<Vin> I'm like, "Mom, do cartwheels or something." (laughs)

<Jay> When I was on the cover, I got on the cover of Time Magazine when I got this job, and I called my mom in Boston. I said, "Mom, I'm on the cover of Time." I said, "Call Aunt Edie and everybody in New Jersey." She goes, "Oh well, you won't be on the cover of the ones down there." (laughs) "They just put you on here 'cause they know you're from the area." She just thought, like, since we lived around Boston, they do a few issues for the people who lived around here (laughs)

<Vin> I get that.

<Jay> But moms, you can't impress a mom.

<Vin> No, there's something about mothers.

<Jay> Unless you become a doctor.

<Vin> Yes.

<Jay> And, or get an "A", which never happens.

<Vin> Oh, come on. Not a chance.

<Jay> Now, let's talk about "The Fast and the Furious." Now, see, I love this movie, but I'm a car guy and this is very authentic to me.

<Vin> You're the car guy.

<Jay> There's no stupid computer things or, it's all real cars, going fast, and it's about racing, which is a little irresponsible but it's a fantasy. It's a movie. The character you play, tell people about the film.

<Vin> I play a character named Dominic Toretto who is this multidimensional character who has these admirable attributes like he's honourable, he's giving, and a caretaker, but he lives outside the law.

<Jay> "Outside the law." He's a criminal. (laughter) I love that. He lives "outside the law."

<Vin> I shouldn't decorate it.

<Jay> You're a bad guy who's really a good guy at heart.

<Vin> I'm a bad guy. Well, all those films that you mentioned, I'm drawn to anti-heros, you know. They're fascinating to me. The picture-perfect heroes are unrealistic and hard to identify with. So, I explore those characters, you know what I'm talking about.

<Jay> See, like, I live outside PrimeTime. (laughter) I'm kind of on TV but I'm outside PrimeTime. Now, we have a race clip and this doesn't really tell you what the movie's about, but it's an exciting clip.

<Vin> Adrenaline.

<Jay> Yah, it really is an adrenaline rush movie. You know, it's just a great movie. It's a, this is a guy's, look, you took the women to the "Bridget Jones." This is our payback. (laughs) Take a look (they watch the clip; the audience applauds and cheers)

<Jay> Oh, it's great. Great job! The movie is "The Fast and the Furious" and it's playing right now. Vin, good to see you, buddy. Thanks for coming

<Vin> Thank you for having me.

<Jay> Vin Diesel. Be right back with RJ Barker right after this...

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