Screw official announcements. Apparently if Vin Diesel‘s heavily rumored to play a certain role you can just ask him “Hey Vin, why’d you pick [this role]?” and he’ll totally just… answer your question. He’s the Iron Giant. He doesn’t care.
I kind of love him.
The following quotes come courtesy of an interview with Hero Complex‘s Amy Kaufman:
OK, so why Groot?
I’m an actor. I can do whatever the … I want. As an actor, not everything has to be the most obvious choice. And sometimes, the best thing you can do — as far as Steven Spielberg and his advice — is to defy expectations. So if everybody thinks you’re going to go for this one thing and you flip it entirely and go for the strangest Marvel character, it’s interesting. And when something is interesting, it’s inspiring.
So he didn’t come out and say he’s playing Groot, but he’s not exactly being coy about the fact that, yeah, he’s almost definitely playing Groot, a.k.a. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s talking tree superhero.
My first thought upon reading this was that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was probably waiting in the parking lot outside the interview to jump Diesel. High importance is placed on secrecy with comic book movies, after all. But apparently Feige is cool with Diesel’s absolute lack of unsubtlety (and it’s not like Feige could take him in a fight, anyway. He is Riddick, after all.):
Why did you post a picture of the character on Facebook this weekend?
I get inspired by things. So if somebody sends me a book of conceptual art that’s the best character design work I’ve ever seen — I’m not kidding, I see that and I want to be a little cryptic and I want to say something positive. Even if it’s as cryptic as an old, dated image of a character.
Marvel is notoriously secretive about its movies, and you’re very open. Isn’t it mad you’ve been dropping hints about “Guardians”?
The last thing they are is mad. I’m pretty open, but I have been secretive about this. I went to Comic-Con and I got blasted while I was on the Hall H panel for “Riddick.” Someone asked a Marvel question. I couldn’t say anything because of that secrecy.
The role may seem an odd choice for a big-name actor like Diesel, seeing as Groot only ever says one line (“I am Groot”). Diesel addressed that issue as well, though, again, he didn’t mention the character by name:
I’m so busy. The audience wanted Vin and Marvel, Vin and Marvel. But I’m too busy to do a six-month role. So what Marvel came up with was really interesting. … I am watching a social wave influence and in some ways guide their thinking.
So it’s a role that’ll fit into his schedule, his fans want him to do it, and he likes doing the “unexpected.” Also—and I’m not saying this is one of his motivations—the paycheck/hours worked ratio has got to be pretty sweet with a role like this.
Not gonna lie, though, I’d absolutely love if Diesel’s been trolling all of us and he’s actually playing… I don’t know, Ant-Man. Rocket Raccoon. Some Marvel character who’s not Groot. You know it’d be hilarious.