Earlier today, we caught wind of some trouble brewing on the set of Fast & Furious 7, as multiple THR insiders claimed to have problems with Vin Diesel, whose behavior has supposedly frustrated his co-workers and slowed down production. I find it a bit odd, then, that we should get this note from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, praising Diesel’s performance in the film mere hours after THR’s story hit the internet.
Now, the two stories could have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and the fact that they both arrived on the same day could very well be a coincidence. However, there’s always the chance that some PR rep over at Disney or Marvel felt that Diesel’s bad press could somehow hurt their film, and decided to get ahead of it a bit.
According to Gunn, Diesel just finished his final session of doing voice work for Groot, the sentient tree-man of the Guardians team. Groot may only ever says three words, “I am Groot” throughout the entire film, but Diesel’s performance far exceeded any of Gunn’s expectations for the role:
“Vin Diesel just finished his final session as Groot (well, for 2014 at least). All of us are astounded that one man can bring so much amazingness to a character who can only say three words. We don’t affect Vin’s voice at all and he sounds like an otherworldly tree! Every “I am Groot,” every grunt and shriek and whine and holler is filled with heart and humor and passion.”
“When I returned from the session, I told one of our producers, Victoria Alonso, that I think we could audition every single person in the world for Groot, and Vin Diesel would still be the best. I know directors almost always praise their stars – and, God knows, I’ve been fortunate with the entire cast of Guardians of the Galaxy – but I’ve never been more stunned by an actor able to bring so much more to a role than I originally thought possible. Rocket may be the heart of GotG, but Groot is its soul.”
Honestly, I find it a bit surprising that an actor of Diesel’s popularity and status, who had been vying for a deal with Marvel for years before landing the part of Groot, would settle for such a small role in an ensemble. Perhaps if the studio executives are just as pleased as Gunn is with what he’s done with his three lines and various grunts, they’ll find a bigger place for him somewhere else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theaters on August 1st, 2014. It stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, and Diesel as Groot. Other cast members include John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin as the voice of Thanos.
Source: James Gunn