Mark Zuckerberg and Vin Diesel

Earlier this year, Vin Diesel returned to the blockbuster “xXx” action film franchise with “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” — a huge hit, particularly in China.

In a new interview with The New York Times, Diesel credits his friend Mark Zuckerberg — yes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — with encouraging him to reprise his role as the titular hero Xander Cage. 

Says Diesel: 

“Of course! I love him. He’s such a great guy and he’s a fan of my work. He probably encouraged me more than anyone else to return to Xander Cage. We were hanging out up at Facebook about two years ago, and I was excited about ‘Fast 7.’ He said, ‘You know what movie I’d most like to see is the return of Xander Cage.’ It’s at a point where if Mark and I are together and if I quote a line from a character I played and I do it slightly wrong, he’ll correct me. It’s embarrassing!”

For his part, Zuck feels similarly about Diesel: “When we first met, one of the things that struck me about you is how authentically a geek you were. And I say that as a geek myself with love in my heart,” Zuckerberg told Diesel in a Facebook Live interview back in December 2016, as reported by Gizmodo.

Read the full New York Times interview with Vin Diesel here.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Miss Colombia — the Miss Universe contestant that was wrongly crowned — just got a role in a Vin Diesel movie