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You know Vin Diesel as the pumped-up, deep-voiced action star who headlines high-octane movies like "Fast & Furious 6" and "XXX," but there's much more to the actor than meets the eye.

We bet you'd be surprised to know the "Riddick" star got his start in theater or that he once appeared in a very funny instructional video for a very '80s dance phenomenon.

Intrigued? Read on to find out 15 tidbits you probably didn't know about Diesel.

1. His mother was an astrologist/psychologist.

2. His real name is Mark Sinclair Vincent; he changed it after he started bouncing at New York City clubs at age 17.

3. As a teen he appeared in an instructional breakdancing video called "Breakin' in the USA." Seriously. Here it is:

4. He studied English at Hunter College in New York City, but dropped out after three years to move to L.A. and pursue acting.

5. He has a fraternal twin brother named Paul Vincent, who's a film editor.

6. He admitted to Conan O'Brien that he is an avid "Dungeons and Dragons" player.

7. After failing to launch his acting career in L.A., he moved back to his native New York, where he soon wrote his first short film about his own experiences as an actor. "Multi-Facial" was shot for $3,000 and screened at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

8. He was cast in "Saving Private Ryan" after Steven Spielberg saw and was impressed by "Multi-Facial."

9. The first feature-length film he wrote, called "Strays," premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.

10. He once worked as a telemarketer selling lightbulbs.

11. He recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he had to leverage his house to get his new movie, "Riddick," the latest installment in a franchise that began with 2000's "Pitch Black," made. "If we didn't finish the film, I would be homeless," he told the magazine.

12. He holds the title of actor with the second highest number of Facebook fans (46,616,128 to be exact). Will Smith is beating him by a cool 4 million.

13. He has two children -- Hania, 5, and Vincent, 3 -- with his model girlfriend Paloma Jimenez. The actor likes to keep his family life private. In fact, he never even formally announced the birth of either of his children.

14. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 26 of this year. His girlfriend and children made a rare appearance.

15. He got his start in acting when he was seven years old after he and his friends broke into the Theater for New York City with plans to vandalize it. A woman who worked there caught them, gave them a script and $20, and agreed to let them go if they showed up for rehearsals every day after school.

Riddick- Trailer No.1
Riddick Movie Poster
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Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, fugitive Riddick (Vin Diesel) fights for survival against alien... Read More

categories Features, Movies