During a Facebook Q&A promoting the upcoming Marvel flick "Guardians of the Galaxy," Diesel answered a fan query about the challenges of getting into character as Groot, a talking tree monster, with a touching story about dealing with the loss of his friend while on the "Guardians" set.
"It was very personal," Diesel wrote of the role. "[I]t was the month after the accident happened with my brother Paul Walker and it was the first time I had worked since. 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."
The character is known for only saying one phrase -- "I am Groot" -- over and over again, and Diesel said that he and director James Gunn had fun playing around with different inflections and cadences to nail the character's intentions and emotions in each scene.
"[I]t 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," Diesel wrote. "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."
"Guardians of the Galaxy," which also stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista, opens on August 1.
[via: Facebook, h/t The Hollywood Reporter]
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards