During the production of “Furious 7” in 2013, Vin Diesel posted a (now-deleted) video to his Facebook page (via Insider) that showed him “practicing” to play Groot in “Guardians of the Galaxy” by walking around on stilts, in order to make him feel like a seven-foot tall tree — something he repeated at the London premiere of the movie (seen above). Funnily enough, he even talked about the role with “Furious 7” co-star Djimon Hounsou, who also appears in the first “Guardians” movie. Thankfully, this isn’t the only evidence of Diesel using stilts to supposedly get into character as Groot. A series of B-roll clips can be found on YouTube where the actor walks strolls into a recording room on stilts in order to record multi-lingual versions of the “I Am Groot” line from the movie. Check it out:
Of course, if you keep watching the clips above, it seems standing on those stilts didn’t last more than a single day of recording. Another round of lines being recorded shows Diesel much closer to the ground. It would appear as if Diesel was just having some fun rather than actually doing something that helped him get into character. But that didn’t stop many entertainment outlets from assuming that Diesel would use the stilts as part of a motion-capture performance before cameras had started rolling. As we know today, Polish actor Krystian Godlewski wore a motion capture suit on set to represent Groot and provide something for the rest of the actors to look at while filming.
Considering the fact that Diesel is famously much shorter than “Fast and Furious” co-star Dwayne Johnson (which may have been part of their famous beef), perhaps the stilts on the set of “Furious 7” were something being tested as a way to make Dom Toretto a more intimidating presence in the high-octane franchise. Groot may have just been an excuse for Vin Diesel to establish his dominance on a set full of beefcakes bigger than him.