What would you do if you got to interview Vin Diesel?
Would you clap? Would you whistle? Would you fall out of your chair? I held my breath in anticipation as I heard footsteps outside the conference room. As Vin turned the corner 25 bloggers cheered with such excitement, it blew Vin away! Seriously…he had a huge grin on his face, and sat down…only to say “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.” So he did! He got up out of his chair and walked back into the hallway, turned around and reentered to even louder applause (and 1/2 of the room gave him a standing ovation!).
What a fantastic way to start an interview!
We all had a chance to watch Guardians of the Galaxy the night prior to our interview, so we couldn’t wait to talk to Vin about his role: Groot. I just love Groot. He is a tree man of few words, voiced by a man of many! As Vin says, “Groot is nature’s ambassador.”
How did Vin become Groot?
Vin humbly gave all the credit to his fans on social media. He said,”First of all, the people that get the most credit for me playing Groot are those people on my Facebook page. Because they manifested this union between myself and Marvel when nobody had an idea of what we could do.” The persistence of the fans on social media somewhat forced Marvel to be creative. Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios President) reached out to Vin after Comic Con. THANK YOU FACEBOOK FANS!
Vin was currently shooting “Fast and the Furious 7” (which took a little bit longer than anticipated) and he didn’t think he had time for a 6-month role on the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” So, Kevin Feige sent over a huge book of conceptual art to show Vin what he was thinking. This was the first time he had seen anything on Groot, “which is not like anything you have ever seen in any of the comic books. It’s an original Groot.”
The conceptual art peaked Vin’s interest, so he went into the living room to ask his kids which character they thought Daddy should play. Within seconds they answered and pointed to Groot! His kids thought Groot was cool. (As do I!)
Vin told us, “When my kids are in the back seat, we’re driving, 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.”
Vin never thought he’d be so proud of his role in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It’s a role that he is very proud of and can talk to his kids about. He said, “It’s been really special… 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.”
Being more than just a voice.
Vin was full of life and energy that shot like a wave through the conference room. He shimmed and danced in his seat…excited to talk about this movie with us. Unlike doing tours for Riddick, he is having a good time just having fun and being goofy.
In order to incorporate the actor’s mannerisms and bring live to the characters, the special effects guys will film an actor while they are recording. So to gather inspiration for Groot, Vin went in to the recording booth wearing jumping stilts so that he would be seven-and-a-half feet tall tree. He says you just need one or a few thing to really get you into character. Vin really kept it about being a towering, innocent character. The innocence of the character is what’s so attractive. “So, yeah,” Vin says. “It was my idea to go above and beyond. And I guess people were like, ‘Damn, this guy’s taking this serious. It’s only three words, dude.’ I have worked more days on this than I have words. Surreal.”
What’s next for Vin Diesel?
Vin’s next project is a movie called “The Last Witch Hunter.” It’s about a 700-year old New Yorker. Jokingly Vin said, “And I feel sometimes like I’m close to 700 years old.” He is very excited that they just Michael Caine. Vin continued, “…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.”
A perfect ending to a perfect interview…
Time was running out, but Vin agreed to take a group photo with us. As he got out of his chair he started singing “HOOKED ON A FEELING” … which we all chimed in and it became a group sing-a-long! How many people can say they got to sing and dance with Vin Diesel?!?! I know I can and so can 24 of my blogger friends!!!
Vin then said to us, “I love the mommy bloggers. You know mommies are the first super heroes you guys.”
One of the 3 male bloggers said, “And some dad bloggers!”
Vin agreed, “Let’s give one for the dads! And that’s tweetable! Thank you so much guys. You guys made me feel so good!”
Like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY onFacebook: www.facebook.com/guardiansofthegalaxy
Follow GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY onTwitter: https://twitter.com/Guardians
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st!
Disclosure: Disney invited me on this press trip and paid for all of my expenses (except travel). All opinions are always 100% my own and honest.