Dwayne Johnson Reveals How He Landed ‘Fast & Furious’ Spin-Off Thanks to Improvisation

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Today, we see Dwayne Johnson as one of the most generous and genuine stars in Hollywood. However, those who were watching the beginning of his rise to fame know a different side of him. During his time in the WWF, The Rock was one of the best trash-talkers in the business. it didn’t matter if he was laying the smack down or giving detailed instructions on the proper placement of opinions, we could all smell what The Rock was cookin’. Many don’t realize that his expert trash-talking led to him landing Hobbs & Shaw.

When Dwayne Johnson entered the Fast family, he injected new energy into the franchise. His charisma and already-massive audience brought new fans to the franchise. At the same time, he piqued the interest of longtime Fast fans. He was the perfect addition to the cast. Then, he ended up sharing the screen with Jason Statham. That was the beginning of something truly special.

Fans loved watching Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham beat the hell out of one another. However, they changed direction. In Fate of the Furious, Statham had joined the good guys. However, his and Johnson’s characters still butted heads. This is where the magic started to happen.

Dwayne Johnson sat down with CBR back in 2019 to talk about the Fast franchise. During that interview, The Rock told them how an ad-libbed line led to a multi-million dollar spinoff.

Dwayne Johnson’s Trash-Talk Is Next-Level

Dwayne Johnson said that he and Statham were “pretty much chained together” during the making of Fate of the Furious. As a result, their chemistry behind the scenes grew just as much, if not more, than the chemistry their characters had on the screen. The Rock said it was this growing chemistry that led to the improvised lines.

Dwayne Johnson recalled that there was a scene where Statham’s character was working on his car. Between takes, Johnson approached him with an idea. “So, let’s change things up,” he told his co-star. “I’d like to say something to you in this. I wanna talk a little sh*t to you.” The catch was, Johnson wouldn’t tell him what he planned to say. He wanted a natural reaction from his fellow action star.

So, during the scene, The Rock walks up to Statham and says, “When this is over, I’m gonna knock your teeth so far down your throat you’re gonna stick a toothbrush up your ass to brush ‘em.” Dwayne Johnson told Jason Statham it would be “kind of funny,” but that caught him off guard. He looked up, started to laugh, and broke character. After that, they started improvising off of one another during scenes.

After seeing how they worked together on Fast 8, Universal realized that Johnson and Statham needed their own movie. Thus, Hobbs & Shaw was born.