Vin Diesel Addresses ‘Fast and Furious’ Issues with Dwayne Johnson: ‘Tough Love’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Vin Diesel recently tried to explain his Fast and Furious feud with Dwayne Johnson.

Johnson, aka The Rock, joined the Fast and Furious franchise for the fifth installment. He then was in Fast and Furious 6, Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious. Johnson and Jason Statham co-starred in a Furious spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw. However, he didn’t appear in F9, which was released earlier this summer.

But Vin Diesel defines the FF franchise, which has now grossed well north of $6 billion since the first was released back in 2001. He plays Dominic Toretto, the leader of a group that started out stealing cars and racing them.

Diesel, in an interview last month with Men’s Health, answered questions about what his spat with Johnson was all about. Apparently, Johnson struggled with the role. Diesel also brought up Johnson’s wrestling background.

“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Diesel said. “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,” Vin Diesel said. “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.”

What Started the Feud Between Vin Diesel and The Rock?

So what prompted the fight between the two actions stars? The bad blood apparently started in 2016, five years after Johnson’s first appearance in the series. This was during the filming of The Fate of the Furious.

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Johnson wrote “Some (male co-stars) conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t.”

Yes, fans thought The Rock was talking about Vin Diesel.

There was more. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Johnson said: “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. It took me some time, but I’m grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not.”

Diesel enjoyed terrific success with F9. It became the first movie in two years to surpass $600 million in ticket sales, worldwide.

Meanwhile, Johnson has a movie premiering later this month. He stars with Emily Blunt in Jungle Cruise. It’s an action movie based on a ride at Disney Land. Feud or not, both men likely will have a successful summer.