Vin Diesel Image Credit: AFP

Vin Diesel is on his maiden visit to India but the Hollywood star says his first tryst with the country was way back in his childhood when he went to watch The Thief of Bagdad, starring Sabu Dastagir.

The 49-year-old actor is currently in the country to promote his latest film xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which marks the Hollywood debut of Deepika Padukone.

“The first movie that my father took me to see was The Thief of Bagdad, starring Sabu. From that moment, as a five-year-old, I always imagined movie stars could look different than the ones that work in Hollywood, like myself,” he said.

“So, there is a long-standing connection with Hollywood and India and my stardom and successful career. I was just waiting for an opportunity to come to India,” Diesel added.

The star is in India along with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage director DJ Caruso. They received a grand welcome when they arrived at Mumbai airport.

“I have never seen a reception, entering a country, like I saw after coming out from the plane. The music, the culture, the fact that people were so happy to celebrate the culture, it’s a beautiful thing,” he said.

Diesel said he is happy has finally visited India.

“I’ve always wanted to come to India. In my field, if it’s not work related, you never get to go to a place. The fact that I got to come to India is something I’ll always cherish,” Diesel said.

Caruso said the film is a global movie in the truest sense.

“We are so excited to be here. The excitement, the enthusiasm, the kindness and the energy level of this city is incredible. To bring this movie here shows that cinema is global, it is not just an American action movie, this is a global movie, people have come in form all over the globe to work in it,” he said.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage releases in the UAE on January 19.