When the short Guardians of the Galaxy featurette centering on Vin Diesel's Groot was released last week, I really only had one complaint: why not show us the character saying his famous line? In the comics, Groot is known for being an intelligent alien who only has the capacity to introduce himself, saying, "I am Groot," but the marketing for the film seems to make us want to wait for it. It may be a little while before we actually get to hear the movie version of the line - perhaps in a trailer attached to Captain America: The Winter Soldier? - but at the very least director James Gunn is promising that we will be impressed with Diesel's performance.
The director was recently a guest on the Pointless Podcast (via Coming Soon), and when the subject of the conversation turned to Guardians of the Galaxy's talking tree and the Fast & Furious' star's performance Gunn first explained that the production had spent a long time searching for a proper voice for Groot, and that when Diesel eventually came to Marvel they realized that he was a good fit. Said the director, "All of the 'I am Groots' that were earlier voices didn't sound very good at all, they sounded like shit. It just didn't really work. Then Vin came in and in one day, laid down all these 'I am Groot' tracks."
Since the actor came aboard, many have joked that the role of Groot wouldn't exactly stretch Diesel's skills at an actor, but according to Gunn the star has worked extremely hard to find the exact mindset of his character and nail down the perfect line readings:
"He's a perfectionist... He made me explain to him with every 'I am Groot' exactly what he was saying.....Then Vin would sit there and he would do it, and he would do it again and again and again, and his voice is so rich and so beautiful and he really opened up and was this character. It was amazing when we first put that voice in there how much the character changed and how much he influenced the character."
For a quick look at Diesel talking about his performance and the character, you can watch the aforementioned featurette below:
Groot certainly is a very strange character, and I couldn't be more excited to see him realized on the big screen. In addition to his repeated line of dialogue, he is also known for spending a good amount of time with the gun-loving trouble starter Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and I can't wait to see their interactions.
Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theaters on August 1st.