“Dubai was a great time. I hung out with a tigon. Or a liger, to be honest.”
It’s nearing 9 pm on a Thursday night in Los Angeles, and Vin Diesel is in great spirits. He’s running from room to room filming snippets with his personal crew, after spending the morning filming something else he can’t talk about yet. We’re here to talk about Bloodshot, but he’s all smiles, just wanting GQ Middle East to talk about what they love about Dubai, and hanging on every word.
Our answer, of course, is not as interesting as his.
“I liked it when I was there. We filmed in Abu Dhabi for Fast 7… I was hanging out with this liger. It’s the biggest cat you’ve ever seen in the world. I was looking at him, from one beast to another, and I was just like, I know your pain.”
That last line--I know your pain—Vin delivers directly into the camera in the gravelly tone that’s made his voice so iconic, that’s given us the pathos of The Iron Giant and Groot. It also makes him pretty intimidating if he’s not in a laughing mood. Even his costars feel it sometimes.
“All his movies he’s beating people up, you know what I mean?” says Lamorne Morris, the New Girl and Game Night star who plays the genius hacker Wilfred Wigans in Bloodshot opposite Vin.
“He’s so serious, and I’m coming in and saying all this goofy stuff, and being weird, and trying out material, how is he going to respond to this? He responded well. He encouraged it. And then it got easy for me,” Morris continues.
It’s hard to blame Morris for his initial anxiety, because every major action role that Diesel takes backs it up. His latest in that vein, Bloodshot, is about a nanotech-enhanced super-soldier whose memories are being manipulated by the people he trusts in order to carry out their murderous agenda.
“Everything I do is motivated by love, but this is a different spin on that concept. They’re torturing him, and turning him into a killer by breaking his heart every day in his dreams. That’s intense. It was very clear. I thought initially, before I read the script, that they want me to play a superhero for the obvious reasons, but it was clear to me that they wanted a true thespian approach to this crazy mentally ill albeit induced by RST [Rational Suggestion Therapy] character, a bat***t crazy character. That was a challenge,” says Diesel.
Bloodshot is in cinemas 12 March across the Middle East