“Bloodshot” might not be an entry in “The Fast and the Furious” series, but friends and family were still the major themes at the premiere of Vin Diesel’s Valiant Comics adaptation at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood on Tuesday night. In fact, the star revealed that he wouldn’t even be playing the titular super soldier Ray Garrison were it not for his son’s encouragement.
“My kid did it,” Diesel told Variety on the event’s black carpet. “This is the second time. … The only two pre-existing characters I’ve ever played — and those of you who know my work, know it’s Groot [in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’] and Bloodshot. Both of them, in some way, I can attribute to my son.”
Diesel then quickly dashed away to greet his co-stars for group photos. “I would’ve dressed up!” he shouted to the group, as he complimented their outfits and crowded in for handshakes and hugs.
“You never know what you’re going to get with him and that’s part of the beauty of being Vin Diesel,” Eiza Gonzalez, who co-stars as KT, Bloodshot’s only ally within the nefarious laboratory that bestowed powers upon him, told Variety.
“[Vin] is one of the coolest dudes,” Lamorne Morris said of Diesel. “He’s super chill, goofing around all the time. He brings his family to set. The kids did a performance piece for some of the crew. He throws little parties here and there. His sets are very chill. He’s big on family, so if he’s away filming these movies all the time, he wants to make the set feel like home. That’s how he made everybody feel.”
Alex Hernandez, who co-stars as a sharp-shooting cyborg, agreed: “He was nothing but generous to me … and, as another actor of color, growing up I always of [Vin] as ‘It’s nice to see that one of us can do this. We’re actually allowed to participate in the Hollywood experience.’ And it was cool to have him be gracious and say ‘Any ideas you have, come bring them to me. We’ll see if we can work them in.’”
David S. F. Wilson, an experienced visual effects artist making his directorial debut with “Bloodshot,” also commended Diesel’s creativity and acumen throughout the production process.
“He brought ideas to the table every day. Impossible [for him] not to,” Wilson said. “It’s a lot of him franchise-building … [asking] how are we sowing seeds for this third or fifth film, which is kind of a daunting task as a director when all you’re trying to do is get that day the best you can. But he has his producer hat that he’s always wearing and his marketing hat. And then when he steps on set, all of that dissipates and he becomes the actor we all love.”
For Sam Heughan, who plays Jimmy Dalton, one of Bloodshot’s technologically enhanced adversaries, the actor was simply thankful for the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Diesel on screen.
“Who doesn’t want to?” Heughan said. “Just to be in a movie with him, one of the greatest action stars of all time, who doesn’t want to do that? And I think I got paid to do it!”
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