Before Groot, Vin Diesel Played Another Larger-Than-Life Character

The actor known as Vin Diesel has shown a lot of versatility in his career. From award-winning dramas like Saving Private Ryan to the over-the-top action of the Fast and the Furious movies, the man born Mark Sinclair does a lot. But many know him simply as Groot. However, before he entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Diesel voiced another out-of-this-world role.

Vin Diesel voices Groot in the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise

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Vin Diesel attends the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

In 2014, Vin Diesel took a break from the Fast and the Furious films to appear in another major franchise. He voiced Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, taking on the role of Groot, a tree-like alien species. The character, who can stretch his limbs, sacrificed himself in the movie. However, the end of the flick shows his son, nicknamed Baby Groot, who takes his place.

Based on the Marvel comics, fans and critics couldn’t get enough of Guardians of the Galaxy. A sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released in 2017. Diesel’s character continued to grow in popularity. He reprised his role in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Thor: Love and Thunder

It doesn’t hurt that the character helps Disney sell toys. Marvel capitalized on his popularity with a series of animated shorts, titled I Am Groot, on Disney+. Diesel reprises his role twice more: In 2022’s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Vin Diesel voiced the titular role in ‘The Iron Giant’

Kids of the 1990s fondly remember The Iron Giant. The movie told the tale of a young boy who became friends with a gigantic robot from outer space. Based on a book from the 1960s, the film marked one of the few from the short-lived Warner Bros. Feature Animation, following Space Jam.

Alongside Vin Diesel as the titular character, the Brad Bird-directed film featured the voices of Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., and the late Cloris Leachman. According to IMDb, The Iron Man won a total of 20 awards for the well-received production. However, it wasn’t financially successful.

What Vin Diesel has said about ‘The Iron Giant’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ 

Vin Diesel’s performance in The Iron Giant isn’t one of his most well-known. So, many people could have forgotten that an actor was behind the robot all along. According to Ms Mojo, the original plan was to go with a voice that was digitally modulated. But in the end, they switched directions.

Even though Diesel’s character didn’t have a ton of dialogue, his performance was sensational.  In a 2015 Facebook post, the actor wrote, “I have been very lucky to have played so many interesting characters… one of the first and one of my favorites is… the Iron Giant.”

In the post, the actor also shared that he hoped for a sequel to the meaningful 1999 film. However, Warner Bros. has yet to announce one.

As for Groot, the actor shared he found the character “challenging” and “fun.” While he was hesitant at first, he fell in love with the concept art for the first film. Then, his daughter chose the character as the one he should play. “From that moment on, I was Groot,” Diesel told Maria Menounos in 2013.

RELATED: This is Why Vin Diesel Joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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