How do you define attraction? As long as I can remember, my personal proclivities for celebrity crush material have run the gamut: there’s the classically handsome David Beckham to the swoon-y crooner John Legend and hair god Brad Pitt, of course, but somehow Vin Diesel also makes the list. He’s got that endearing grin, those gargantuan biceps, and he looks darn good in a motorcycle jacket—but with The Fate of the Furious hitting theaters today, there’s no time like the present to consider what exactly makes Diesel so particularly appealing.
An early affinity for automobiles meant I quickly fell in love with the Fast and the Furious franchise, with all of its invigorating, NOS-fueled races and gratuitous physics-defying stunts. The faster the better, and preferably imported vehicles, which is why the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Paul Walker caught my attention first—his character, Brian O’Conner, had a similar preference for foreign coupes (although I could’ve done without the garish neon colors, but I digress). But as the first movie unfurled and I got to know Dominic Toretto (played by Diesel), the brawny man stole my heart, despite his predilection for American muscle cars.
The predominant underlying theme of the franchise is kinship via friendship, and putting family first, all of which are principles that seem to have taken root in Diesel’s real life. Not only were he and Walker partners in crime in the action-packed movies, Diesel often referred to his costar as his brother—after Walker died in a car crash on November 30, 2013, Diesel often got emotional in interviews. He later revealed that he named his daughter Pauline as a tribute to his late colleague. And remember when he sang “See You Again”—a song commissioned for Furious 7 in memoriam of Walker—at the 2016 People’s Choice Awards? Tear jerker.
One sweep through the star’s Instagram and you get further evidence of just how much of a softie this burly man actually is. From photos of quality time with his kids to adorable videos with Pauline, his love for his children is on full display. Then there’s his unexpected adoration for Ruby Rose—who he worked alongside for xXx: Return of Xander Cage—calling her his “bestie.” And let’s not forget that time he regrammed Amy Schumer, referring to her as a “beautiful angel” and applauding her for taking the high road with internet trolls when she took to the social media platform to send an anti-body shaming message. Really, what more reason could a person need?
This story originally appeared on Vogue.
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