Vin Diesel’s Katy Perry–Beyoncé Dance Party: There’s No Going Back
Vin Diesel loves music. He also loves Facebook. When the two of those loves join forces — as they did last year, for the event that was Vin + empty room + Rihanna’s “Stay” — the results are magical.
But Vin has outdone himself this time. And not just because he taped himself for seven minutes and 29 seconds, accompanied by Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” and Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love.” It’s because of what happened in those seven minutes, and because of his performance in the one-man short film Vin Diesel Is You When You’re Home Alone Getting Ready to Go Out, But Instead of Just Behaving This Way in Front of a Mirror, He Tapes Himself and Then Puts It on Facebook Because He’s the Hero We Don’t Deserve.
The clip is such a strong example of self-inflicted invasion, I immediately did a thorough search of my house for any hidden cameras. It’s that real. Because, in the privacy of my own home, when no one’s around, I’ve done every single one of these Vin Diesel moves.
• The walk backwards with one hand in pocket, the occasional point, the swirly arm thing, the look back — even when you know no one else is in the room — I’ve done it all.
• I sang Katy Perry and Juicy J’s “Dark Horse” in the company of a mirror not 12 hours ago. Sometimes, lyrics came out. Other times, I just mouthed them — “them” being words that usually weren’t the correct lyrics.
• Lip-biting took place, just for the sake of trying it out.
• I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten really close up to my mirror, then backed away. It’s a thing.
• When I’m alone, there are fewer things better than bouncing along to a build. And then the drop — what a moment that can be in your living room.
• Mean-mugging is fun. I do it a lot, especially when Juicy J raps. As is that crouchy thing that happens to your body, in which you bring your elbows in and slightly bounce in a standing fetal position. Definitely been there.
• Ad libs are great opportunities to try out new things. Like pointing in random directions.
• You’ve got to love that thing you do when you pretend your hand is on a steering wheel. And you drive to the beat, a very dangerous maneuver if you were actually in a car. Just a great time.
• I love not knowing any of the lyrics of a verse, except for the last line. And then proudly and confidently singing it and launching right into the chorus. Just a classic “in the house alone, trying to figure out which one of these outfits is going to make me look the most like Idris” move.
• Who hasn’t been here?
• I’m there right now.
• Recently, I’ve definitely done that playful, coy laugh in the mirror, just to see how I look when I playfully, coyly laugh in real life. It’s a thing. Or the thing where you miss the beat drop. Or you nod one extra time. And you’re disappointed in yourself, so you start the entire song over so you can get it right, not that anyone’s around to score you on accuracy or judge your performance. Other than yourself.
• Sometimes I’ll be in front of the mirror, and then walk somewhere else, just to see how it looks when I reenter the frame of the mirror. It’s an important thing to know about yourself.
• Using a microphone (or microphone equivalent — e.g., a paper-towel roll) that is in no way plugged up or a device that actually amplifies sound is a classic move, passed down from generation to generation.
• Occasionally I’ll give acceptance speeches and thank my fans while “Dark Horse” plays in the background. Sometimes there’s no music. And other times, there is music, but it’s just not “Dark Horse.” And then there are the times where — again, in the mirror — I have to apologize for not making it to the Grammys, all while “Drunk in Love” plays.
• I can remember plenty of times I’ve started talking, then turned up the volume and drowned my voice out with the music, all while walking backwards and snapping. These are great memories.
• Probably on a daily basis, I hear “Drunk in Love” and find myself caught between trying to move like Beyoncé and Jay simultaneously, which results in hand things and hip things that usually are working against one another.
• Have I ever launched my hand in disgust while Beyoncé sings, “How the hell did this shit happen, oh, baby?” Have I searched for my upper register while singing, “Druuuuunk,” only to find other notes from other songs? Is water wet?
• It’s easy to forget that there is something better than being your own hype man and screaming, “Ohhhhhhhh!” before beginning a verse. A contender? That moment in which a song is heating up, and you’re forced to transition from snapping to clapping to gator chomping. It’s such a great moment, almost as if your heart is in your hands.
• And the spin. Hitting a spin and only making it 290 degrees around, but then convincing yourself that’s what you wanted. 290 degrees was the whole plan, because it opens up an entirely new direction to dance in your room.
• Oh, and touching your heart, because you feel something. One of the original motions.
• And finally, hopping on a surfbort. And surfborting.
I’ve been there, Vin. I relate to every second of your soon-to-be Tony Award–nominated one-man show. I just never had the courage to film it for everyone’s eyes to see.
Know that if anyone makes fun of you, Vin, I will hunt them down. I am your protector. I am your Dom Toretto.
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“Actually, the last thing we shot with Matthew [McConaughey], which was really great because we got to surprise him, was from episode seven when Marty’s watching the video tape Rust stole from the Tuttle house and Matthew has his back to Woody. We start rolling and I keep it going and we gather the entire crew right outside the storage unit. We slammed the doors open, which kind of shocked him for a second, and then the whole crew was there to clap for him. It was pretty awesome.”