Celebrity

Sleb Safari: Vin Diesel is finally taking credit for Steven Spielberg's career

Vin Diesel knows he's an excellent director
Maeve Connolly

Allow Sleb Safari to introduce you to the man to whom Steven Spielberg owes everything - one Mr Vin Diesel.

You'll know Vin Diesel from his Fast and the Furious action film franchise - illegal street racing... Heists... Spies... - but now, finally and properly, he's taking the credit he deserves as a director's director.

His career started with a part in a film you might have heard of called Saving Private Ryan directed by a man who you only know about because of Vin Diesel's influence.

Men's Health has the inside track in a lengthy interview with VD.

Steven Spielberg had had a 30-plus year career by the time he made Saving Private Ryan. Efforts had included ET, Jaws, The Goonies, Jurassic Park, Empire of the Sun, The Colour Purple and four Indiana Jones but nothing resonated with the cinema-going public until 1997 when the film gods smiled on Spielberg and gifted him the opportunity to work with Vin Diesel.

VD played Private Caparzo and the crew spent two days filming his death scene, shooting it from every angle and perspective. Spielberg thought he had all the bases covered until VD spoke up.

"Hey, Steven, where's your C camera?"

"What? Why?"

"Put a C camera in that second-floor window."

VD assures Men's Health that's how the conversation with Spielberg went and that the resulting footage was so compelling it ended up in the film's trailer.

"Oh God. Oh God, I shouldn't even be saying that," VD continues.

"But it was a blessing, and I can say that because Steven was also the person who said - he'll say to this day - 'I didn't hire you just as an actor, Vin, I expect you to be directing. I expect you to be directing'."

It is such a pity that Steven Spielberg doesn't give interviews.

Steven Spielberg 

Warming to his theme VD also told The National in this round of interviews to promote the latest film from his franchise that "speaking of Steven Spielberg, I saw him recently, and he had said to me, 'When I wrote the role for you in Saving Private Ryan, I was obviously employing the actor, but I was also secretly championing the director in you, and you have not directed enough. That is a crime of cinema and you must get back in the directing chair'."

A crime of cinema, no less.

Imagine how much time Steven Spielberg wasted before he met VD. How much better would his early career have been if he'd had Vin's steady hand on his shoulder?

Sleb Safari can't help but wonder who else would have benefitted from a VD mentorship. What more might Stephen Hawking have achieved? Could Dorothy Hodgkin have won a second Nobel prize? The mind boggles.

It's too late for so many people but there's still time for a younger generation to learn from the master and for that we must be grateful.

Anton Du Beke is stepping into Bruno Tonioli's shoes

Anton Du Beke

ANTON Du Beke is finally getting a seat at the Strictly judges' table and doesn't he deserve it after years of being paired with celebrity partners who found dancing a challenge.

Anton's getting his shot because Bruno Tonioli may not be able to travel back and forth to LA due to, what else but, Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Both were characteristically ebullient.

"My loves, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno's brogues for the next series of Strictly," Anton practically sang.

"It's a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me."

Bruno said, although disappointed at not being able to return to Strictly, "there is one person and one person only that could take my place - it's just a shame they weren't available... haha. Darlings I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

"...I honestly wouldn't have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle."

Strictly really served to lift spirits last year and it'll be lovely to see it return.

Date for your diary - Ben Affleck to propose on July 24

Jennifer Lopez

Please don't tell anyone tell Jennifer Lopez but Ben Affleck is going to propose on her birthday.

Closer has been speaking to someone who knows someone who knows someone who is close to the couple and they've given the magazine chapter and verse. Honestly.

"Ben wants to give long-lasting love another shot and is planning a romantic proposal on the singer's 52nd birthday on 24 July," the source says.

"They're both adamant about avoiding a long-distance relationship and Jen's already spoken to Marc, who's agreed to the plan as long as it doesn't interfere with their custody situation."

And, in case you've been wondering where Bennifer will reside, Closer's source says Jennifer will move into Ben's California home as she loves "being so close to the beach". And the beach is also going to be where the couple's respective children meet for the first time.

Now please keep that under your hat and don't ruin the surprise for Jennifer.

Social Media Smut

Hailey and Justin Bieber met French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron in Paris recently. What is it about this photo that makes Sleb Safari smile? All of it. Why were the Biebers meeting the Macrons? Who knows.

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