I have to say, if I was an actor walking into a room where 25 mom and dad bloggers were waiting with smartphones, laptops, etc. I would be a little intimidated. However, that was NOT the case with Vin Diesel. He entered the room to all of us clapping and yelling. He enjoyed it so much He came BACK in for a second entrance. Now that’s a man who knows a good time when he sees it.
VIN: Wow look at this wonderful reception. You guys! You didn’t have to make me feel that good. My God! This is like…I need to walk in again.
VIN: You are incredible guys!
Bloggers: We love Groot
VIN: First of all, I love that you love Groot. But what do you love about Groot?
Q: There’s so much… [LAUGHS] What do you love about Groot, and what attracted you to the role of Groot?
VIN: So, Kevin Feige called. First of all, the people that get the most credit for me playing Groot are those people on my Facebook page. They manifested this union between myself and Marvel when nobody had an idea of what we could do.
As you know, I had to shoot “Fast and the Furious 7” a little bit longer than anticipated. There was really no schedule to be able to do a six-month role. The persistence of the social media somewhat forced us all to be really creative. So, Kevin Feige sent over — he had gone to Comic Con and they were asking him about — and I was at Comic Con too for “Riddick” — and they were asking me, “What is the involvement between Vin and Marvel?” Then they asked him. We felt like, oh my God, we’d better come up with something fast. He called me and said, “I’m gonna tell you about this character. Don’t think I’m crazy. I hope you will like it and I’m going to send you over some conceptual art.”
Then, someone delivers this huge book of conceptual art for “The Guardians of the Galaxy.” It’s the first time that I had ever seen what they were doing with Groot, which is not like anything you have ever seen in any of the comic books. It’s an original Groot. And I went into the living room, and the kids were there, and I opened up the book, and it was a double-truck picture with all of the characters. And I said to the kids, “What character do you think they want Daddy to play?” They answered in seconds. I was praying that they would lead me in feeling good about this role. They all pointed to Groot, and they thought Groot was cool.
Jump cut to: they’ve seen the movie. They’re singing all of the songs in the house. If I wanted to share the music with them, like we all want to share Jackson 5 with our kids, right? What better way to do it than Baby Groot? So, it became one of those things where it was one of those movies that was just remarkable to share with your kids.
The best thing about having played this role is something I never would have anticipated as an actor. I never would’ve seen this coming. I knew when I did the voice of Iron Giant that it would be cool for my kids to say “my dad is the Iron Giant.”, but I didn’t anticipate what the effect would be from playing Groot, and this is what it’s been. When my kids are in the back seat, whenever they see trees they say, “Look, Dad. It’s your brothers and sisters.” You can’t beat that. I mean, nothing I would try to teach them about life and respect for nature could have been as effective as them seeing Daddy as Groot, and them thinking — and how appropriate. What a beautiful thing. And something you would never even think is possible. I mean, we’ve never seen trees in that light. I mean, I guess, in 1939, when “The Wizard of Oz” came out, there was a little something us people that kind of saw that saw the tree can have some kind of feelings, if they’re pulling apples from the tree.
This, I feel, has gone to the next level. I never thought I’d be so proud of it. But you know, in some ways, Groot is nature’s ambassador, and there’s something beautiful about that. Just the idea of talking about, for me, you know, movies should promote or provoke conversation, right?
When we take our kids to the movies, if we can walk out of there and have — I mean, Bambi was that, right? Or, you know, when people came out of “Iron Giant,” there was the whole discussion of the deer, and, you know, death, and what that was like, and it was an opportunity for kids to talk. But the idea of sacrifice at the end, which Groot is demonstrating is — that’s a wonderful conversation to have with our kids.
So, it’s been really special, and it’s, you know, I do movies that are not necessarily for kids. So, to do this and to be able to share this with the little ones, and for them to be so excited about it and so proud of it, and to think of trees differently. They will never look at a tree the same way. No one will, after this.
Q:So, I see you were doing a little shimmy there.
VIN: You can tell this is going to be a very fun tour. I don’t have to be like, “Riddick is killer,” I don’t have to be like, “Grrrrr!” You know. I get to really just have fun and be goofy.
Q: I just wanted to know if you had any influence working with the FX guys in the way that Groot moves.
VIN: What they did, and what they do a lot now, is that they film you while you’re recording, and they’ll try to pull t some mannerisms, and try to incorporate that. What I did is, I went into the recording booth as a seven-and-a-half foot tree, in essence. I was wearing jumping stilts while I was recording.
Kinda crazy. They had to adjust the mic, and they had never had to do that before. And it was pretty intense. And it was one of those things that I started doing last year, because I just wanted — sometimes, you don’t need a whole lot. You just need one thing, or a few things, that get you into character, that get you into the spirit of the character. What I wanted to do is be seven-and-a-half feet tall, and I was seven-and-a-half feet tall, and it felt like I was adding something.
Q: Was that your choice to go in dressed as the character? And how long did it take you?
VIN: Well, I really kept it about kind of being this towering kind of innocent character. The innocence of the character is what’s so attractive. So, yeah. It was my idea to go above and beyond. I guess people were like, “Damn, this guy’s taking this serious. It’s only three words, dude.” So we have, literally — you know, I have worked more days on this than I have words. Surreal.
Q: Well you know you got YouTube you can always do more videos.
VIN: I could baby. You know I could baby. I’ve been dranking. I’ve been dranking. Think of all the mommies that have seen that video. You know all the mommies loved that video. I’ve been dranking. I’ve been dranking.
Q: Besides “Fast and the Furious 7,” do you have any projects coming up that we can see you in?
VIN: I am about to do a movie called “The Last Witch Hunter” about a 700-year old New Yorker. And I feel sometimes like I’m close to 700 years old. It is going to be very cool, and we just cast Michael Caine. Which is for me, you know, whenever — when Dame Judi Dench did “Chronicles of Riddick” or when I had the opportunity to work with the late Sidney Lumet for “Find Me Guilty”…it’s always a big deal when I get to work with people that I’ve been such fans of for so long. So I’m just so excited to see what happens when the camera starts rolling, and it’s me and Michael Caine. You just know it’s gonna be good.
“HOOKED ON A FEELING” group sing-a-long and photo
At this point something AMAZING happened. We were all filing out of the room for a group picture and Vin started singing “Hooked on a Feeling”….and WE started singing as well. So somewhere out there is a video of us all singing and dancing with Vin Diesel. He was a great man to interview. You can tell he loves his family and his job. He’s incredible. I want to go back and watch every single movie he’s been in. Thanks again Vin….from Kas one of the Mommy Bloggers.
VIN: I love the mommy bloggers. You know mommies are the first super heroes you guys.
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Hits theaters Aug. 1
***Disclosure: I attended #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney and myself. All opinions are 100% mine. Pictures by Disney***