Disclaimer: Disney, Marvel, Dreamworks & ABC Family sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of these events, including my Vin Diesel interview. All opinions are my own.
When I received the coveted invite from Disney and Marvel to attend a press event in LA, little did I know that weeks later I would be singing at the top of my lungs to “Hooked on a Feeling” right next to THE Vin Diesel!
Oh, and Vin Diesel was singing too, with that inviting deep voice of his. And with Vin Diesel and 25 bloggers laughing and singing along to the classic song by Blue Swede, we ended our Guardians of the Galaxy interview.
But I started at the end didn’t I?
It just shows you how much fun we had in the conference room with Vin…..but let me head back to the beginning, because, well, let me tell you……….
VIN DIESEL KNOWS HOW TO MAKE AN ENTRANCE!
HELLO VIN DIESEL!
He walked into a room which burst out in applause. We applaused not only for Vin (I mean, he’s quite the guy) but for Groot, the character he plays in the new Marvel film, “Guardians of the Galaxy”. We had just seen the film the night before on the lot of Walt Disney Studios, and while I’m certainly not going to spill the beans until my official review comes out next week, let’s just say we fell in love with Vin’s character. Something even I didn’t expect.
So the applause was well-deserved and you could tell it energized him. I think it was completely unexpected, so much so that he said, “You guys! You didn’t have to make me feel that good. My God! This is like…I need to walk in again.”
And he did. And we cheered again. There wasn’t a frown in the conference room. We liked Vin Diesel immediately. Yes, we’d loved his work from afar, but Vin the person, we immediately connected with.
Vin credited his facebook fans with manifesting the union between himself and Marvel.
He said, “As you know, I had to shoot “Fast and the Furious 7″ a little bit longer than anticipated. And there was really no schedule to be able to do a six-month role. And the persistence of the social media somewhat forced us all to be really creative.” Vin is a great addition to the Marvel family, and crediting his fans on social media is exactly what I’d expect Vin to do.
But Vin Diesel as Groot? A tree?
I’ll admit when I first saw the character Groot, I was curious. At first glance it seemed a superhero might not be that far from an action hero character. I could totally see Vin in the role. And then I saw the film. Groot is not what I expected. He’s so much more.
Vin talks about introducing Groot to his children by looking at conceptual art for all the Guardians 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.”
It’s as if it was fate that Vin Diesel would play the character whom he calls “Nature’s Ambassador”. Vin never thought he’d be so proud of this role, but thinks movies should promote conversation, and that’s exactly what this film does, surprisingly so (but more on that next week).
Vin said, “So, it’s been really special, and it’s, you know, 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 Diesel wearing stilts?
Imagine Vin Diesel wearing jumping stilts while he was recording. Do you have that image? He wanted to actually feel like a 7 1/2 foot tree.
“Well, I really kept it about kind of being this towering kind of innocent character. The innocence of the character is what’s so attractive. So, yeah. It was my idea to go above and beyond. And I guess people were like, “Damn, this guy’s taking this serious. It’s only three words, dude.” So we have, literally — you know, I have worked more days on this than I have words. Surreal.”
As a mom, I really understood the importance of family to Vin Diesel. You could tell he was the real deal. Genuine. Yes, charming as all get out, but genuine!
“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.”
Above all else, Vin is a Daddy.
What’s Next for Vin Diesel?
He’s about to do a movie called “The Last Witch Hunter” about a 700-year old New Yorker. Vin was incredibly excited that they had just cast Michael Caine.
But back to “Hooked on a Feeling”……..
The soundtrack to the film will be released July 29th (but can pre-order now)- Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack: Awesome Mix Vol.1 and it features the classic song, which I can’t seem to get out of my mind these days. 🙂
Apparently, Vin can’t get it out of his mind either. At the conclusion of our interview, he waited for many of us to file out into the hallway for a group picture. Before I passed him, he surprisingly started belting out the lyrics to the song. And just like clockwork we all joined in.
25 bloggers and Vin.
There is a video out there somewhere. I’m thinking it was one of Vin’s “people” who have it. I sure would love to see it on YouTube one day. Not because of my great singing voice (which doesn’t exist by the way), but because it shows a group of people who didn’t care who was watching OR better yet, listening.
We just sang our hearts out, just like Vin’s son did while watching the movie. It’s what we should all do more often. Throw caution to the wind. Sing our hearts out. Enjoy life.
As if Vin Diesel hadn’t stolen my heart already, he said, “I love the mommy bloggers. You know mommies are the first super heroes you guys.“. And with that, Vin was a superhero in my book.
Groot and Vin………love you both!
Here’s a sneak peek of the film and be sure to catch my other Guardians of the Galaxy interviews:
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st!