This summer's upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy is introducing a whole new cast of characters to the Marvel Cinematic (or would that be Cosmic?) Universe. Among those newcomers is fan favorite Vin Diesel, who voices the noble, intelligent Groot - yes, "the talking tree" for those of you who don't even know.
When we learned he'd only have three repeated words as his dialogue (Mini-spoiler: It's actually four words - but that fourth word matters) with "I am Groot," we all wondered why such a huge movie star agreed to take such a strange role.
As it turns out, that role may have been the very thing to pull him out of his grief after the death of best friend Paul Walker last November. As he revealed at the press conference I attended on Saturday:
For me, it was at a very important time that I did this. Because it was in December. It was the first time I was coming around humans again and the first time I was working again, since—there was something very therapeutic about, in my personal life, but I guess in my professional life, too, dealing with death, and then playing a character that celebrates life in the way that Groot celebrates life.
I took my kids to the screening to see this movie, and…something very beautiful happened in playing this role. Something that, as an actor, I never would have imagined. And that is that when my kids see trees, they refer to them as my brothers and sisters. The idea of being associated with trees like that, is remarkable, it’s so much more gratifying than you ever could imagine.
I was lucky. I was really lucky that that specific role came up.
While no role can replace the bond of brotherhood Vin Diesel and Paul Walker shared, it's at least comforting to know that Vin found a way to heal himself through bringing Groot to life.
Guardians of the Galaxy is in theaters August 1st.