None of the last couple Fast & Furious movies have been as entertaining as the ongoing beef between the franchise’s two biggest stars: Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The drama went public just a week before the end of production on The Fate of the Furious, when Johnson posted something on Instagram slamming unnamed “male co-stars” who were by his standards, “candy a–es.”
He wrote, “Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken s— to do anything about it anyway. Candy a–es. 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.”
Johnson later deleted the picture, and now says he regrets posting it. Not because it wasn’t true, but because “I don’t share things like that. And I take care of that kind of bulls— away from the public.” Still, that doesn’t mean his feelings about Diesel have changed at all. In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Johnson shed more light on his history with Diesel.
There was apparently some kind of peace meeting in The Rock’s trailer after his Instagram post, which he shares laughing, “I wouldn’t call it a peaceful meeting. I would call it a meeting of clarity. He and I had a good chat in my trailer, and it was out of that chat that it really became just crystal clear that we are two separate ends of the spectrum. And agreed to leave it there.”
Johnson said that he and Diesel are “philosophically two different people, and we approach the business of moviemaking in two very different ways.” After he described his philosophy on work being: “Looking at everybody as equal partners. And looking at the studio as equal partners. And looking at the crew, regardless of where you’re at, either on the call sheet or otherwise, as equal partners—with respect and with humility, and being respectful of the process and every other human being who is putting in just as much time, just as much hard work and sweat equity, if not more. And I think it’s always been important to me to always be straight up and look somebody in the eye. And if you say you’re going to do something, do it.” In saying this, Johnson is implying that Diesel does not share his ethos or his approach.
He also responded directly to one of Diesel’s statements in an interview with Men’s Health, where he claimed credit for Johnson’s success in the film world, saying that The Rock’s performances in the Fast franchise largely came as a result of Diesel’s own “tough love” style of producing.
“You know, I’ll tell you this. One part of me feels like there’s no way I would dignify any of that bulls— with an answer. But here’s the truth. I’ve been around the block a lot of times. Unlike him, I did not come from the world of theater. And, you know, I came up differently and was raised differently. And I came from a completely different culture and environment. And I go into every project giving it my all. And if I feel that there’s some things that need to be squared away and handled and taken care of, then I do it. And it’s just that simple. So when I read that, just like everybody else, I laughed. I laughed hard. We all laughed. And somewhere I’m sure Fellini is laughing too.”
This isn’t the first time Johnson publicly responded to Diesel’s comments — when Diesel’s statement first went public, Johnson went on the record saying he wished the franchise well, but he was not going to return to the Fast & Furious series for any future movies. The battle between Dominic Toretto and Luke Hobbs may be over, but the war between Diesel and Johnson shows no signs of stopping.