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Tough guy Vin Diesel follows Arnie into the kindie comedy routine with The Pacifier, and gets all soft and mushy about having children of his own. Jenny Cooney Carrillo reports from Los Angeles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had Kindergarten Cop and now another Hollywood action star has taken a leaf out of his book. Vin Diesel is starring in the family comedy, The Pacifier, in which he plays a disgraced Navy Seal who is handed an assignment to protect five young children who are in danger because their deceased scientist father has hidden a top-secret experiment in their home. The 37-year-old muscle-bound star is better known for action hits such as; xXx, Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick but in this movie, co-starring Gilmore Girlís Lauren Graham and Everybody Loves Raymondís Brad Garrett, he trades in the martial arts for nappie-changing skills.

Have you ever had to babysit and how good were you?
I was better than the Cat in the Hat, thatís for sure! I was the oldest in my family so it started at an early age. In fact I felt like I was babysitting my entire life, taking my little sister to ballet, making lunch for her and taking her to school every morning, so I did a lot of babysitting.

So how did you get along with the kids in the movie?
I loved them all and I am godfather to a lot of kids these days, as well as nieces and nephews so thatís partly why I wanted to do this movie for them. The most important thing about doing this movie was making the nine-month-old infants comfortable. You canít lie to a baby and they want to be with their mother, but I was with these babies so much that I fell in love with them. Iíd do interviews to promote The Chronicles of Riddick and find myself longing to get back to the set just to see their eyes light up when I walked into the room, so the bond was that strong. I usually play these dark, introspective, heavy roles and this was the first time I was able to do a film that was fun and it really was!

Does this make you want to have your own kids?
This film had a profound affect on me, I must confess. Iím 37 and all Iíve been doing is driving full force with my career so of course Iíd like to slow down and have a family now. I canít wait to have kids but Iíve got to work it out and meet that right person, otherwise who am I going to have kids with? Maybe you can suggest someone? [laughs]

What qualities are you looking for in that special someone?
They are as simple and as complicated as the next guy; someone thatís special, someone thatís a good person, someone thatís kind and ultimately someone who would be a great mother.

How did you feel about doing a family film?
I love that Iím in a comedy but I also want to do a musical film. I did the voice in the animated movie The Iron Giant but this is the first family movie that my nieces and nephews can actually see me in! The movies that we went to see as a family when I was growing up were very special and so is this. You donít need a babysitter when you go and see The Pacifier because the babysitter is in the movie! 

You always seem so upbeat. Does anything make you sad?
Iím really family-related so anything about family could get me sad. Sometimes when I do a sad role, like in A Man Apart, it makes me very melancholy and I stayed in that place for four or five months with a lot of crying and sadness, which is all the more reason to do a film like The Pacifier, where you donít have to be sad and itís all about laughing.

As a baby, did you use a pacifier Ė or dummy as we call them?
Thatís funny Ė I hope we donít have to call the movie The Dummy over there! I was more into thumbs and blankies. I still remember those old baby blankets that were wool and I used to take my thumb and push it through the top of the blanket so I guess I was a weirdo baby!

Did you always know you could do comedy?
Itís strange when people ask me if Iím funny because I spent most of my life in the principalís office in school because I was so funny that I was the class clown. I think back to all those days I spent in his office and hope that I can still make people laugh now that Iím actually getting paid for it!

Published March 31, 2005

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Vin Diesel in The Pacifier


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