Vin Diesel’s “Facebook owes me” claim may have startled Mark Zuckerberg, but the 45-year-old media-savvy Fast & Furious star had a twinkle in his eye when he said it.
In a free-wheeling interview with Entertainment Weekly on Friday, Van Diesel indulged in some pretty large boasts about his enormous success on Facebook, where he currently has over 41 million friends. He said at the time that he started his page in 2009, only Barack Obama had as many as one million fans — and Obama, of course, had just taken office as America’s history-making first African-American president.
Vin Diesel’s page soared to become the No. one Facebook page in the world. Though it no longer holds that title, it’s still hugely influential.
For example, many people credit the return of the Michelle Rodriguez in the role of Letty inFast & Furious 6 to the pressure brought to bear by Vin Diesel’s millions of Letty-loving fans. “At nearly 40 million likes, it’s a community larger than most sovereign nations, and when that many people speak the studio has to listen,” noted entertainment blog Heavy.
To EW Van Diesel half-boasted, half-joked: “Facebook used to ask me to come up to their office to explain what the f*** I was doing, and why I had so many fans. What was unique was: I never let anyone do a post, I never let anyone post for me in the last four years…Facebook really owes me billions of dollars. But whatever.”
Hmm. It doesn’t sound like the meet-up actually happened. There’s a difference between saying “Facebook used to ask” and “Facebook and I sat down to share ideas.”
And the secret itself was pretty Captain Obvious. He posted everything himself, keeping it real — and the fans could tell. It’s hard to argue that you’d need a meet-up with the star himself to figure that out.
Whoever may have called him at Facebook, and whatever Vin Diesel may or may not have actually said to that person, the claim that Facebook owes him cash is just a playful joke that has gotten somewhat blown out of proportion as it traveled around the internet.
Vin Diesel will cash in the old-fashioned way, by being a big-time movie star. Fast & Furious 6 will appear in theaters on May 24.
Yes, Vin Diesel did say that Facebook owes him billions, but he’ll get it from ticket-buying fans, not Mr. Zuckerberg.