Count Vin Diesel in as the latest Philippine ambassador of goodwill. The hunky Hollywood star fell in love with the country the first time he set his foot on PH soil.
Diesel, who is in Manila to promote his high-octane film “Fast and Furious 6,” didn’t run out of superlatives in describing the country and its people when he met the press from the Philippines and other Asian countries at Fairmont Hotel on Thursday, May 16.
“The Philippines is incredible!” Diesel, dressed in his signature white tank top and knee-length shorts, gushed. “I wanted to go here my whole life! I’m so excited! I won’t trade it for anything!”
Diesel can’t get over the warmth and the smiles he saw in the people he met.
“People here are so wonderful,” he notes. “They don’t realize that. There’s this kind of warmth I see everywhere! I notice it in the street vendor who can’t give you anything but a warm smile and a lot of love.”
The Philippines has become so special to him, Diesel is planning to bring his niece and nephew to Manila. He also acknowledged the fact that his sister-in-law (his twin brother’s wife) is Filipino.
As photos circulating in online media have shown, Diesel not only fell in love with the Philippines and its people. He also enjoyed the common man’s mode of transportation – the jeepney.
Read related story: Vin Diesel dons a sando at ‘Global City’ in Manila
“I love riding jeepneys,” he said. “They’re the coolest buses I’ve ever seen!”
He didn’t discount the possibility of featuring the jeepney in his next movies.
Conquering the Great Wall of China
Speaking of next movies, fans of the “Fast and Furious” series may just see a big car chase scene shot against the Great Wall of China someday.
“We’re thinking of a huge action sequence there,” he told the press, who welcomed his plan to shoot in Asia.
“All locations in the saga are a result of ‘Why don’t you go here? Someone requests the saga to go to their home country.”
Diesel also tells the press what makes the saga stand on its own after all these years. More than the car chases and the breakneck speed, it has a heart.
“It’s strong on family.”
A look at the life of Diesel, who also produces the film, shows why. His daughter, Hania Riley, has turned him from macho man to marshmallow man.
“My daughter is my queen,” he admits. “It’s gotten to the point where I’m in a tslk show, and if I don’t send her an email as where I am, I’ll get into trouble.”
Diesel takes his role as father seriously.
“Being a dad is a powerful transition,” he states. Unlike his brother, who started having a family around a decade before he did, Diesel was a late bloomer of a dad because of his packed schedule. “You put your life on hold as you live out the characters you play.”
“Fast and Furious” is extra special to him because it marks milestones in his family life.
“My daughter was born while ‘Fast and Furious 4’ was being shot; my son, when the fifth installment was made, and my niece, when we were doing the sixth installment.”
Diesel is happy to note that his director, Justin Lin, became a dad after he (Diesel) started having his own children.
“It’s beautiful to see kids of the next generation playing together,” Diesel said.
Diesel reprises the role of retired professional criminal Dominic Toretto in “Fast and Furious 6.” With him in Manila for the press conference and red carpet premiere of the film are his co-stars Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans and Gina Carano.
You may also like: Deafening cheers greet ‘Fast and Furious 6’ stars in Manila
Watch videos: 'Fast and Furious 6' stars express their love for PH