The Real Reason Vin Diesel Changed His Name

Vin Diesel is a name people definitely recognize, especially since he became the buff leading man of the "Fast and Furious" franchise. According to IMDb, his juggernaut action series is on its 9th installment – 10th if you count the spin-off – has already announced yet another film in the works. 

The series has taken on a life of its own as one of the top 10 grossing film franchises of all time, spanning 20 years, and raking in a mind-boggling $5.9 million with two works yet to be released. Of course this makes Diesel, who has been at the helm as both actor and producer, a massive international star (via CNBC).

But this isn't even the most successful franchise the longtime New Yorker has been a part of, as he has also voiced the beloved character Groot in  "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise (via Time). It's safe to say that the star is a household name at this point. However, it wasn't always the name the "The Pacifier" star was known by.

Vin wanted a tougher sounding moniker

Many celebrities change their name when they enter the profession, usually to avoid conflicts with actors with the same or similar names, the pronunciation is complicated, or just because it sounds better for an actor (via Huffington Post).

The interesting thing about Vin Diesel is that he adopted the moniker long before becoming an actor. Born Mark Sinclair, as a teen working as a bouncer in NYC he felt he needed a tougher sounding name (via Screen Rant).

It's pretty hard to imagine the man who brought the character of Dominic Torreto to life as having difficulty invoking a tough image no matter what name he had but apparently that wasn't always the case. Even more surprising is young Diesel was more into Dungeons and Dragons than racing cars, as he told SyFy Wire. The first and last names the future movie star chose came from two very different places. The first name has family significance, while the surname came from his friends. (via Screen Rant)

How did Vin even get his stage name?

The step-father who raised the "Pitch Black" star and his twin brother Paul, was Irving Vincent. Vin is a shortened version of that last name his mother and step-father share (via Screen Rant). Diesel however has a less serious origin. 

As fans may recall, the name was made up by a teenager, and it appears he had the help of other teens. He once explained on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," the nickname referencing diesel fuel was given to him as a teen by friends due to his extremely energy-packed nature. 

And that wasn't the only name he made up as a teen that found its way to Hollywood. He revealed another time to Conan O'Brien, after saying "I don't know why I'm telling you this," was that one of the tattoos on his character in "XXX" contained a name he made up while playing Dungeons and Dragons. Luckily that wasn't the one he went with; Vin Diesel turned out to be the perfect name for an action hero.