If there is any action star that can make a room full of women swoon and fawn and almost faint, then Vin Diesel is definitely that dude with the fuel that lights our fire!
And interviewing Vin is like a whirlwind. First you’ve got to get past his good looks, but then his charm just oozes all over you like warm maple syrup slopped over an oven-baked biscuit: sweet with a lotta heat! Talking to Vin Diesel is just that damn delicious. Be jealous. Be VERY jealous because I landed the interview of a lifetime last week during a 4-day Disney/Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Press Junket in Los Angeles.
I don’t know why the Gods or the Star Lords above blessed me and the 24 other bloggers with an invitation to groove with Groot, but I-I-I-I-I…I Got a Feeling Vin was ready for any of us when he walked into the room. Vin entered to a resounding applause from all of us.
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.”
And Vin was so overwhelmed by our roaring applause that he literally walked back out the room and entered again to an even louder roar!
My first thought was: this is the guy you crack open a beer with, grab a deck of cards, crank up the Bose and party like a rockstar with. But let’s be clear, Vin Diesel IS the party as evident through his YouTube channel and video page where he jams just for the camera http://www.vindiesel.com/videos
And his real life vibrant persona is light years away from the heartfelt character Groot he plays in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie August 1. Groot is a tree. Yes, a tree. Big and tall with a limited vocabulary and a raccoon as his right-hand man.
Vin talks about how he got involved with the Guardians:
“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?”
“And then they asked him. And we felt like, oh my God, we’d better come up with something fast. And 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.” So, someone delivers this huge book of conceptual art.”
Vin said when he received the book of conceptual art, it was the first time he saw 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,” he said.
“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?”
“And I was asking them, and they answered in seconds. I was praying that they would lead me in feeling good about this role. And they all pointed to Groot, and they thought Groot was cool.”
I got a sneak peek of Guardians of the Galaxy and I truly connected with the movie, perhaps because it had so much good music too. Vin got the same feeling. He said his kids were singing the music all around the house.
“We all want to share Jackson 5 with our kids, right? But what better way to do it than Baby Groot? So, it became one of those things where it was — it was one of those movies that was just remarkable to share with your kids.”
“But 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, I — 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.”
“What a beautiful thing,” said Vin. “And something you would never even think is possible. I mean, we’ve never seen trees in that light. I mean, we, I guess, in 1939, when “The Wizard of Oz” came out, there was a little something … the tree can have some kind of feelings, if they’re pulling apples from the tree.”
This role definitely hit Vin in the heart. Especially because his kids approve. I can’t tell you much but this movie will move you and Vin explains that it provides for an opportunity to have a deep conversation about life and death with your kids.
“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.”
“This, I feel, has gone to the next level. And I never thought I’d — 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. And just the idea of talking about, for me, you know, movies should promote or provoke conversation, right?”
Vin calls his journey being a part of this movie, 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.”
Vin just started filming a new movie, The Witch Hunter about a 700-year old New Yorker. And he’s sharing the screen with the iconic Michael Caine—someone Vin is a big fan of.
And in Vin Diesel style he leaves the interview WOOing us women by offering us this compliment:
“You know mommies are the first super heroes.”
STOP! PARTY TIME! Vin broke out and sung a rendition of Hooked On a Feeling! And we all joined in! Told ya. This man is a party all in himself.
This movie definitely will have you laugh and move you in more ways that one. #YoureWelcome.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st!
Disclosure: I was invited to a Disney/Marvel #GuardiansoftheGalaxy Press junket in Los Angeles and received hotel accommodates, some gifts and meals. But all opinions are my own!