ByDavid Rodemerk, writer at
Watched HBO and Cinemax as a little kid before "binge-watching" was even a thing! Mom called me a TV Guide with diapers. Twitter @filmigos
David Rodemerk

What do an oderly, a race car driver, and a WWII solder have in common? They are all roles played by Vin Diesel before he became a Hollywood megastar. This weekend, Vin Diesel stars in The Last Witch Hunter. Will this be his next big movie franchise a la Fast and the Furious, Riddick, and XXX? Time will tell.

But before he starred in these movies, Vin Diesel had some smaller roles that you may have missed. Hey, every actor has to start somewhere right?

Awakening with DeNiro and Williams.
Awakening with DeNiro and Williams.

His first movie was actually in Awakenings. You probably remember Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams in this touching tale about a doctor trying to find a cure for a disease that causes people become motionless. Although he is uncredited, Vin Diesel does have teeny-tiny appearance as an orderly walking through a door.

Saving Private Ryan directed by Spielberg
Saving Private Ryan directed by Spielberg

Vin Diesel may not have had a speaking role Awakenings, but Steven Spielberg liked what he saw in Vin Diesel's own movie he directed. Spielberg liked what he saw so much, that he casted Vin Diesel in Saving Private Ryan as the tough but kind hearted Private Carpazo. Diesel went from small time wannabe actor to walking alongside Tom Hanks and Matt Damon. Not too shabby.

Let's face it, it was the Fast and the Furious franchise that really made Vin Diesel a star. In the Tokyo Drift installment, it was considered a flop because he wasn't in it. However, the studio asked him to make a cameo in it towards the end. Diesel said he wouldn't do for any money, but would do it if he could own the rights to the Riddick character. Well, he got a little cameo, then got a huge wallet after the success of the Riddick movies. Smart move, Vinny!

If you want to watch a video with some of these scenes, just check out my YouTube video!


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