Never let it be said that Vin Diesel, the thick, muscle-y heart of the automotively improbable Fast And Furious franchise, is not still also a huge ol’ nerd. Diesel’s long and abiding love for all things elvish and orcish has been a huge part of his particular pop culture charms for decades at this point, and it was on full display earlier tonight, at the “trailer launch” for this May’s Fast X. (Not the actual premiere, mind you; the trailer premiere.)
Specifically, Diesel was talking to Variety’s Mark Malkin about the difficulties of stretching this particular franchise out to ten installments and counting. Malkin, foolishly, attempts to suggest that this might take some kind of physical toll on Diesel—a question that provokes a bit of immediate schtick followed by a flat, dismissive “No.” No, what daunts Diesel (who’s served as a producer on the franchise since 2009's Fast & Furious) is the story. Or, to quote the man himself, prompted by absolutely nothing: “There’s a reason Tolkien stopped writing after a while.” And this, folks, is the good shit you get from a Vin Diesel interview when the man is in a good mood.
Laughing at his own silly metaphor, Diesel continues, “Because it’s so hard to continue mythologies.” When Malkin half-jokingly suggests that Diesel considers the Fast & Furious movies “The Lord Of The Rings of action movies,” the actor happily rolls with it. “From your mouth to god’s ears. It’s so true.”
And while we might be tempted to debate whether it is so true—or whether Tolkien actually did quit writing because he couldn’t figure out what to do after sending an Ent into space in 2 Towers 2 Furious—actually shut up, because then Vin Diesel did his Tolkien impression. “I should have stopped after The Hobbit,” he says in a British(?) accent, shaking with imagined Tolkien-y disdain. We know things were touch-and-go back during CandyAss Gate, but god bless this big bald dweeb.