How ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Helped Vin Diesel Process Paul Walker’s Death

Groot was his first role after Walker's passing.

Solace can come from the most unexpected places. Sometimes, those unexpected places are the voice booth in post-production of a big-budget superhero movie.

In a Facebook Q&A ahead of the trailer premiere for Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Vin Diesel, who voices Groot, said that accepting the role helped him work through the pain following his friend and “Fast & Furious” co-star Paul Walker’s unexpected death last year.

“It was very personal — it was the month after the accident happened with my brother Paul Walker and it was the first time I had worked since,” Diesel wrote. “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.”

Of course, Diesel only had to memorize three little words for the part: “I am Groot.” And then say them. Over. And over. And over. Asked how many times he thought he’d uttered the line by now, he shared a high estimate.

“Oh god… maybe a thousand? I don’t know. It felt like a thousand. [Director[ James Gunn and I were having so much with it. So it could’ve been a thousand. And it 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.”

We’ll have to wait until August 1, when “Guardians of the Galaxy” hits theaters, to hear the many different inflections of the phrase.