Vin Diesel has some fast and curious talk for the bigwigs at Facebook.
The actor is saying that, at least from his point of view, the social-media giant owes him major props—possibly even a hefty financial kickback—for supposedly helping it become the game-changing, Net-dominating titan that it is today.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Fast & Furious 6 star claims he helped boost the site's profile when he signed on back in 2009, creating an avalanche of online fans that has now snowballed into a colossal page with 41.5 million "likes."
"What Facebook didn't realize is something very big was about to happen, and that was—for the first time in history, and it's kind of a fluke they didn't see this coming—when I jumped on that page in April 2009, I started talking to people. In the realest ways," the 45-year-old tells the mag.
"Imagine," he adds, "if you could've been a Facebook friend to Marlon Brando, or whoever your role models are. Imagine, if you were able to Facebook Elvis, and talk to him, and hear from him without the Hollywood of it all."
According to Diesel, when he first signed up, the only person whose Facebook page had a more million fans was Barack Obama's. But the status quo quickly changed.
"So, when I started talking to the fans, I became the No. 1 page in the world," he boasts. "Over Coca-Cola, over huge companies. And it was only because I said: 'Hi, guys, I love you.'
Diesel claims that the site's honchos eventually wanted to consult with him to find out his secret. "Facebook used to ask me to come up to their office to explain what the f--k I was doing, and why I had so many fans," he recalls. His secret, he believes, is that he decided to stick with a DIY attitude.
"I never let anyone do a post, I never let anyone post for me in the last four years," he says. "My audience knows me so well on the page that if my producing partner's in the room when I post, they'll know somebody was around me. That's kind of cool, that's how sophisticated they are. Facebook really owes me billions of dollars. But whatever."
That notwithstanding, at the very least Diesel is able to showcase his sense of humor on his Facebook page: On Mother's Day, he posted a riotous photo of him snoozing on his mom's shoulder.
Now that we "like."