11:53am PT by Ashley Lee
Vin Diesel Says 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Helped Him Heal After Paul Walker's Death
Though Vin Diesel is currently plugging Guardians of the Galaxy, he continues to keep Paul Walker on his mind.
When asked by a fan during a Facebook Q&A on Monday -- coordinated to introduce new trailers -- what the most challenging thing was about getting into character, Diesel took the opportunity to talk about his healing process following Walker's death.
"It was very personal -- it was the month after the accident happened with my brother Paul Walker and it was the first time I had worked since," he wrote. "Although it was challenging, just to get back to work was therapeutic -- especially as Groot. There was an innocence about the character that was just refreshing -- and it may have been more challenging under other circumstances, but at that time, it was very therapeutic."
Other answers from Diesel were much more lighthearted, as he joked that he had to say the line, "I am Groot," a thousand times. "James Gunn and I were having so much with it. So it could've been a thousand. And it was amazing to go in there and to work with someone who wanted to explore the character -- we wanted each 'I am Groot' to mean something different. … It reminded me, as an actor, how much we can do with so little -- and if we're passionate about it, good thing can come from it." And who was the class clown on set? "Chris Pratt is hysterical. He is just refreshingly hysterical," said Diesel.
The actor admitted he didn't know much about Guardians of the Galaxy before he signed on to the project -- "I just knew they were the intergalactic counterpart of The Avengers," he said, adding that he discovered the part through meeting with Marvel. "Once I did, I got hooked. I got the original comic books and I was very quickly researching him and discovering why this character fits -- he's such an interesting character -- he is the Monarch of Planet X!" Oddly enough, others outside Marvel thought he'd fit the role well too: "When I was at CinemaCon last year, a reporter actually suggested the role of Groot before I even heard about it from the studio!" noted Diesel.
When Diesel learned he'd gotten the part, the first person he told was his son. "He was so excited. Marvel and James Gunn had sent over a large envelope of conceptual art and there was a big two-page image of the whole cast, and I asked my three-year-old, 'Which character do you think they want Daddy to play?' And he pointed to the tree! And that's how I knew that this was a special role," he said, also adding that his daughter often recites his character's title line.
Guardians of the Galaxy will be released Aug. 1.