Vin Diesel Says Fast & Furious Tension With Dwayne Johnson Was Due To 'Tough Love'

Dwayne Johnson joined the Fast franchise for Fast Five, and sparks flew between him and series star Vin Diesel.

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What happens when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object? Just ask Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, two of the biggest men in Hollywood--in every sense. The two have allegedly been feuding for years after butting heads during filming of Fate of the Furious, and now Vin Diesel is offering his first comments on the matter in a new interview with Men's Health.

"It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character," Diesel says in the interview. "My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be. As a producer to say, Okay, we’re going to take Dwayne Johnson, who’s associated with wrestling, and we’re going to force this cinematic world, audience members, to regard his character as someone that they don’t know—Hobbs hits you like a ton of bricks. That’s something that I’m proud of, that aesthetic. That took a lot of work. We had to get there and sometimes, at that time, I could give a lot of tough love. Not Felliniesque, but I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing."

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Word of the feud first started to emerge in 2016 during the filming of the then-upcoming Fast & Furious 8 when Johnson posted to Instagram about his time on the film, commenting on the professionalism of the crew and his female co-stars, while saying that his male co-stars were "a different story."

"Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't," Johnson continued. "The ones that don't are too chicken s**t to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I'm not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling--you're right."

When asked about his time on Fate of the Furious and the absence of any shared screen time, Johnson said that "that is correct. We were not in any scenes together."

"Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer. And what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating," Johnson said at the time. "It took me some time, but I'm grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not."

Most cast members have stayed quiet about the feud, though Tyrese Gibson, who plays Roman Pierce in many films throughout the series, threatened to quit the franchise if Johnson was involved in Fast9. Michelle Rodriguez, meanwhile, said in 2019 that "boys will be boys," adding that "There’s always some sort of conflict when tribes meet and they get bigger. I think that’s the world, that’s globalization. We’re seeing it right now with nationalism, all over the planet. So I’m not surprised that the tribe back home is arguing too!"

The ninth Fast & Furious film, F9, hits U.S. theaters on June 25, 2021. Ahead of the release, make sure to check out our review, and get caught up on everything we know about the film.

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