After starring in several action films, Vin Diesel made a play for family-friendly stardom in Disney’s “The Pacifier.” He plays a buff, headstrong Navy SEAL who is assigned to babysit the children of a man involved in something nefarious. As you might imagine, hijinks ensue. He told Film Monthly that he was happy to have already developed a recurring character type he could subvert expectations of, less than a decade into his stardom. “… [The role] already had this built-in element where it played on people’s perceptions of previous characters I played, and that’s what was fun about it,” he said.
The film also helped soften people’s perceptions of the actor, as he spent the press tour insisting that he had a real heart beneath all the muscles. He told Phase 9, “Put a nine-month-old baby in Vin Diesel’s hands, and you’re going to get a big softie.” Director Adam Shankman even did some public-relations heavy lifting on the star’s behalf, telling Hollywood.com that he was surprised to discover that Diesel didn’t resemble his tough-guy persona. He explained, “I was like, ‘Oh, God! You’re a softie!?'”
It wasn’t just kids who softened his image on set. The actor told IGN that there was an on-set duck-related mishap, which saw him bitten in an odd spot that few action heroes would fess up to. “[I had] a duck hanging on my ear … [I was] wearing a duck earring,” he laughed.