By peoplestaff225
Updated August 26, 2008 10:00 AM

Picture Vin Diesel and his many "tough guy" characters come to mind, but when the actor accepted a role as a nanny in his 2005 movie Pacifier, it didn’t take many baby-filled days for Vin to feel "this desire to have a child." After the movie wrapped, it took some time "to find the right person" and for Vin "to hopefully be mature enough to be a great father," but when his girlfriend Paloma Jimenez gave birth to their first child — a daughter — back in April, the first time dad knew he was up for the challenge.

As for any jitters about being a new dad, Vin explains that he "had a lot of practice growing up," everything from "a lot of diaper changing and lunch-making" for his younger siblings to taking them to their after school activities. Having the extra experience with babies also earned Vin the nickname of "Baby Whisperer" on the set of Pacifier — when the actor held a crying baby, the infant would stop wailing!

Although the action star known for his hard-edged roles says he realizes some fans are surprised to realize that he’s a dad, Vin, 41, reveals that becoming a softie is just part of the process! "Someone once told me that, when youhave a child, it opens up parts of your heart that you never knew existed," he explains. "And it is so true."

Source: Parade; Photo by Getty Images.