Frazer Harrison/Getty
Caris Davis
August 26, 2008 09:40 AM

As an action hero Vin Diesel spends his time chasing bad guys and dodging explosions – but in real life he’s just happy changing diapers.

The star of the upcoming Babylon A.D. – who welcomed his first child, a daughter, in April with girlfriend Paloma Jimenez – says fatherhood has given him a whole new perspective.

“Someone once told me that, when you have a child, it opens up parts of your heart that you never knew existed. And it is so true,” Diesel told Parade magazine. “It’s like you have a child and you think, ‘Everything that I’ve done up until this point is insignificant in comparison to being a father.’ It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.”

And Diesel says he’s had plenty of parenting training – both on and off screen.

“I had a lot of practice growing up. I was the oldest of the children in my family. I had to do a lot of diaper-changing and lunch-making,” he says. “I was taking my little sister to ballet, picking up my brother, sort of being a super-nanny.”

Diesel then parlayed that experience into 2005’s The Pacifier, which had him costarring with tiny tots.

“Working with babies on the set for so long, it really started to bring out this desire to have a child,” he says. “And it took a couple years after that to find the right person and to hopefully be mature enough to be a great father – which is really all you want to do.”

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