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Vin Diesel has one of the strangest jobs in Hollywood. Sometime next year, when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 goes into production, he’s going to stand in a sound booth and say, "I am Groot," a couple of hundred times with various inflections. Then he’s probably going to go home and play Dungeons and Dragons. While I wholly approve of this plan, it’s still a strange job. Especially since he already stood in a sound booth and said "I am Groot" a bunch of times once already. Does he even actually need to do it again? Of course he does, because while the words we hear are always the same we know that what Groot is actually saying is different every time. It turns out only two people actually know what Groot is saying. Diesel and writer/director James Gunn have special versions of the script with Groot-to-English translations.
Gunn made the existence of the special scripts public in a response to a Twitter question regarding how he handles directing Diesel. It’s a little interesting that Groot actually does have specific lines. While it’s not too difficult to figure out what he means in a general sense, even without translation, it does help explain why Diesel needs to say every line individually. Even though we may not be able to tell the difference between minor variations in inflection, Diesel is likely trying to make those differences come across as best he can. Actually, Groot just went from one of the oddest jobs in Hollywood to perhaps one of the most complicated. Does Gunn make Diesel do the take over and over again if he doesn’t think he nailed the inflections quite right? Does success mean that Vin Diesel is actually one of the world’s greatest voice actors?
We can’t help but think that there’s somebody missing from this list, however. Shouldn’t Bradley Cooper have a copy of the "Groot script," too? Rocket Racoon is the one person who actually understands what Groot is saying, so shouldn’t the same be the case for the actor who plays him? Unless there’s something deeper going on here. Does this mean Rocket doesn’t actually understand Groot? Maybe Rocket is simply inferring the same way the audience is, he’s just better at the nuances because he’s known Groot longer. It’s possible we’re reading a little much into this. Maybe.
Now we want to get our hands on the first Guardians script and rewatch the movie with the translated dialogue in hand. It might actually open up entire new aspects of the character that we never saw before.