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Vin Diesel jokes that Facebook owes him 'billions of dollars'

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   May 12, 2013 at 10:06 PM   |   Comments

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May 12 (UPI) -- Vin Diesel has more than 41 million likes on his official Facebook page, which he uses to connect with his fans and share personal photos and videos of his adventures. On Valentine' Day this year, for example, the 45-year-old actor posted a video of himself covering Rihanna's song, "Stay," which was shared more than 33,000 times.

Facebook "owes me billions of dollars," Diesel said in a recent Q&A with Entertainment Weekly.

While he may not have invented the social networking site, Diesel said he became the "No. 1 page in the world" by discovering how to communicate personally to followers.

"So, when I had started my page, the only person that had a million fans was Barack Obama. Because it was first-quarter 2009, and he’d just got elected as President, because of social media. So, when I started talking to the fans, I became the No. 1 page in the world. Over Coca-Cola, over huge companies. And it was only because I said: 'Hi, guys, I love you.'"

He once explained his online success to Facebook execs.

"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. 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. [Laughs]"

The star of the massively successful "Fast and the Furious" series also said that his profile page became so popular because he spoke to his fans in the "realest of ways."

"When I jumped on that page in April 2009, I started talking to people. In the realest ways. Imagine 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. That was the 'Fast & Furious' experience."

Diesel attributed the success of his Facebook page to his ability to help projects, like "Fast & Furious" sequels, get made. He even speculated that classic films like "Rebel Without A Cause" and "Gone With the Wind" could have had sequels if Marlon Brando and Clark Gable had Facebook pages.

"Fast & Furious 6" opens May 24.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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