The highly-anticipated comic book adaptation Bloodshot transforms Vin Diesel into Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in combat and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot.
The Knockturnal sits down with Diesel and costars Sam Heughan, Eiza González, and Lamorne Morris to talk redefining the superhero genre, action film roles for women, and what’s next for the Bloodshot franchise.
The Knockturnal: In this movie, your character is pretty resilient. Was that something you relate to in real life?
Vin Diesel: No. There are days I come home from action sequences and wish that I had the power to regenerate as fast as Ray Garrison. I mean, I wish I was.
The Knockturnal: I didn’t see that coming. I thought you would be like, ‘yeah man, hell yeah.’
Vin Diesel: “I got this.” No. It’s when you commit hard. I have such a great stunt team and yet when they do the stunts, it’s all controlled. When you go into doing a stunt as a character, you push a little harder, you commit to it, you forget about the safety of it. And that’s usually when the injuries come.
The Knockturnal: Did you have any on this film?
Vin Diesel: Yeah.
The Knockturnal: Really?
Vin Diesel: Yeah, there were moments where you’d come home bleeding and the kids are like, “what happened to you, Daddy?” It’s usually just about committing to a scene. You know, I often say it’s very scary when I do a film because if the director said, “jump off the building,” there’s a part of me that will just go and jump off the building. And again you want to commit wholeheartedly to the films that you do and the characters that you play.
The Knockturnal: Yeah, that scene with you and Sam [Heughan] where you’re sort of falling down….
Vin Diesel: In the elevator shaft.
The Knockturnal: Yeah, horrifying. You’ve worked in action a lot. You’re a master of this genre, right? What still sort of excites you about it? What intrigues you?
Vin Diesel: An interesting story, interesting character. Obviously on the page you’re not seeing what will inevitably be the action. On the page, you’re just vining off the story and Viking off the character. And there was a clear difference between the familiar comic book worlds like DC and Marvel and Valiant. And the reason why Bloodshot was a New York Times bestseller is it’s edgier. It’s not only flawed characters, it’s an imperfect world. Think about how much Bloodshot is even a superhero. He’s not waking up saying “I’m going to save the world.” He’s not altruistic. He’s not coming from a planet of superheroes that want to save the galaxy. He’s really being controlled, manipulated, and oppressed through the whole movie. And his moment of heroism is to fight the system that’s controlling him, and that’s it. He’s trying to save himself and maybe the other soldiers that have been subjected to what he’s been subjected to. So it’s fascinating. It’s not the classic, it’s definitely a new style and a new approach. That’s one of the things that kind of gravitated me towards the project. You could take the script was so interesting and the mind play of it all that you could not even call it a superhero movie and find that story compelling.
The Knockturnal: Absolutely. I was reading the graphic novel and it’s super dark stuff, so it’s great that you’re able to bring it to life.
Vin Diesel: It’s super dark. You’ve got a post traumatic stress disorder. You’ve got all the things that aren’t that popular to talk about in society that play to what this film was about and themes in this film. This guy is struggling with mental illness and induced mental instability. All the soldiers are dealing with some post traumatic stress disorder. These are things that make it a unique world and it’s exciting to play in that.
The Knockturnal: Between the three of you, who’s the toughest in real life?
Lamorne Morris: In real life?
Sam Heughan: It’s got to be Eiza, right? She kicked our asses. Have you seen her box?
The Knockturnal: No I haven’t.
Sam Heughan: It’s awesome.
The Knockturnal: Where can I see that?
Lamorne Morris: Instagram, YouTube.
Eiza González: All the platforms.
Sam Heughan: We put her in the next Olympics, I think.
Lamorne Morris: Boxing.com. She’s probably the toughest.
The Knockturnal: We’re dressed so similarly.
Lamorne Morris: I know.
Sam Heughan: Yeah.
Eiza González: Him too. We’re the trifecta. It’s like Zelda.
Sam Heughan: Album cover, right?
The Knockturnal: So Sam, you’re known for Outlander and a lot of other roles, but that one in particular. What’s it like making that switch from Outlander to this film?
Sam Heughan: Oh it was so exciting. I love my TV show but it’s been great to do other roles, and this one in particular, he’s such an interesting character. He’s so fun. And Dave and I, and also Valiant, they gave these ideas and we really sort of ran with them, talking about the backstory and who they are. I think the most important thing about this movie is that the characters are human beings. They’re real. They’re not some superhero. They’re human beings with all of their qualities and they’re all slightly broken as well.