"The Pacifier" marks Diesel's first real family-friendly movie. As a Navy SEAL who is given the duty of protecting five kids who have just lost their dad, Diesel gets to change diapers, deal with rebellious teenagers, fall in love, and tangle with a duck. Yes, a duck.
INTERVIEW WITH VIN DIESEL ('Shane'):
What would Riddick do in a room full of kids?
Its funny. Did you see Pitch Black? If you really look at Pitch Black, the change of heart comes when a kid is threatened. Its ironically a theme thats been kind of present since Iron Giant.
So you dont view this role as a departure?
In practice, it wasnt so much a departure. In theory, even if youve ever seen XXX that Id done, or something like that, youre laughing. Its funny. But it doesnt promise to be a comedy. Thats the critical difference. The Pacifier says, Were really fun. This is going to be really fun. That, I havent done. I havent done a film that says, Were promising laughter.
What was clever about this was that the script played on peoples perception of previous roles that Ive played. It was already built into the script. So that made it even easier because it was like, Okay, youre going to still see a guy that youre familiar with. Its just that the situation, the scenario, will be drastically different than youd expect.
But the beginning of The Pacifier is action-packed.
Yeah, this is reminiscent of some other [movies] and then all of a sudden, you realize the whole thing has been flipped on its ear. And youre now in suburbia. Thats what makes it funny.
How was working with babies?
I loved the babies.
How many would you like to have?
As many as the good lord I love big families, so as big as I can [handle].
Did this movie make you want to have kids?
Absolutely. As an actor, you basically give up a year of your life for a project. Whats interesting about this project was I was giving up a year of my life, but the thing that stood out above and beyond all the experiences was this relationship with the nine month old baby. So on my weekends, Id be thinking about going back to set on Monday just to see the baby. And it really starts to tell you something when you all of a sudden go, Im going psycho over here. Ive got to get back - Ive got to see that baby. And you get a little excited. Or walking on a set and this nine month old baby knows that youre there. Not thinking Vin Diesel, just thinks of the big guy whos always taking care of him. Its a very profound relationship and it has to have an effect on somebody. It had a dramatic effect on me. Its a very sure thing. Id tell the mother all the time, Everything Ive done is insignificant in the eyes of this smiling [baby].
Youre not grossed out by the diapers?
No, no, no. Thats fun for the movie. Me, I was crazy. Crazy. Like you can walk on set and walk by Vin Diesel and that nine month old costar having a conversation that you couldnt understand. Lotta, Goo goo, ga gas.
How did you keep the babies quiet?
You mean, why did they call me The Baby Whisperer? The secret was creating a real organic relationship with the babies from the very beginning. That meant the day I went into rehearsal, the first thing I did was strap on and just walk around. I was walking around with the babies so much that when I got to the Sidney Lumet picture, I would be on set in between takes and Id be rocking back and forth. Just standing like this rocking back and forth. Sidney would say, Why are you walking like that in between takes? And its because it was this weird habit that I developed from holding the nine month old babies. The objective was to constantly keep them smiling. Because if you didnt, it went into the waterworks. You could be stuck there for another two hours.