While Vin Diesel has had plenty of roles in live-action movies, he’s also had quite a bit of success as a voice actor. His deep and smooth voice can make a character anything from intimidating to comforting, which further shows the actor’s range. Let’s look at the best Vin Diesel voice-acting performances across movies and video games.
Vin Diesel being behind the wheel is really nothing new. Even by the time Wheelman was released in March of 2009, the actor had been in three Fast & Furious movies, with a fourth set to premiere a month later. If anything, that experience helped make Diesel feel like a perfect fit for Wheelman protagonist Milo Burik.
The open world Midway game has Diesel playing an undercover CIA agent in Barcelona. Throughout the game, he infiltrates gangs and drives around wildly as he pursues important classified documents. Wheelman ended up receiving mixed reviews, but Diesel was still a highlight of the over-the-top action game.
Richard B. Riddick—The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and Assault on Dark Athena
These sci-fi first-person shooter games may have been released in the mid-to-late 2000s, but they still enjoy a following to this day. Vin Diesel reprized his role as Richard B. Riddick in both games — the latter of which is an expanded remake/sequel of the first game. Players assume the role of Riddick as they try to escape the titular maximum security prison facility. It’s violent, dark, and exciting, and Vin Diesel’s voice work helps make it feel like a true part of the Riddick universe.
It’s always exciting to see movie stars reprise their roles in things like video games when they’re set in the same universe as their movies, and the two Riddick games are no exception. Vin Diesel not only provided plenty of steely voice work but also had the game development studio he co-founded, Tigon Studios, work on the games alongside Starbreeze Studios. His commitment to the game paid off, serving as an early taste of Diesel’s work in games.
Groot—Marvel Cinematic Universe
Of all Vin Diesel’s voice roles, none are probably as well-known as that of Groot. The giant tree alien says very few words but serves as both a mascot for and the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Though he doesn’t earn $13 million per movie, Diesel certainly earns his keep by embodying the beloved botanical Guardian and giving him lots of character beyond repeatedly saying, “I am Groot.”
Technically, Vin Diesel has played two Groot’s. James Gunn considers the current version to be the son of the Groot that sacrificed himself at the end of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. While the biggest difference in tone comes from the pitching of Groot’s voice, there’s a lighter attitude to the smaller version that shows Diesel’s range. Regardless, it’s hard to imagine the Guardians’ iconic gentle giant without Diesel’s performance.
Iron Giant — The Iron Giant
Though the movie itself may not have gotten its due at the box office, many children of the ’90s and early 2000s remember The Iron Giant basically — and for good reason. It’s a very touching animated movie, with the biggest emotional beats coming from the Vin Diesel-voiced Iron Giant himself. It’s impressive that he can play so many characters that don’t say many different words while still imbuing each with their own unique gravitas.
Though the Iron Giant doesn’t speak too much, there’s an overwhelming kindness to his voice as he interacts with his nine-year-old friend Hogarth. The end of the movie, which sees the Giant take the lessons he learned from Hogarth to heart, features some of the best line deliveries Vin Diesel has ever given, creating a beautiful ending that stands out among animated movies to this day. Diesel’s had plenty of great roles, but that of the Iron Giant is easily one of the best.
Santiago Da Costa — Ark Franchise
Santiago Da Costa is one of the most recent Vin Diesel roles. While neither the game nor the animated series is out just yet, it features Diesel’s likeness, and it’s interesting to see the actor in a prehistoric setting. The trailers we’ve seen feature some intense grunting from Diesel, who is also doing the motion capture for his character.
The animated series is expected to arrive sometime in 2023, ahead of the game’s late 2024 release, so “real gamers” will be able to hear Diesel’s full performance soon enough.
Bonus: Feel Like I Do
Diesel’s golden voice has also led him to release some iconic songs as well (and a great cover of Rihanna’s “Stay”), the best of which is his pandemic bop “Feel Like I Do.” Produced by EDM star Kygo, Vin lends his baritone to some heartfelt lyrics, such as “’Cause every single word, it just makes my stomach turn ’cause I don’t know you, but it feels like I do.”