For years there has been tension between wrestling legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his Fast & The Furious co-star Vin Diesel, stemming from issues during the filming of Fast 8 to Johnson developing his spin-off film Hobbs & Shaw. In an interview with Men’s Health, Diesel attempted to set the record straight on the issues. He claimed the tension between them came from Diesel giving Johnson “tough love” in order to help portray the character correctly.
“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Diesel says. “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.”
At the time, Johnson took to Instagram and wrote that while some of his male Fast 8 co-stars “conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals… others don’t.” He added that “the ones that don’t are too chicken s–t to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses.” Diesel stated that he needed to act the way he did to “get there” with Johnson.
“That took a lot of work,” Diesel said. “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.”
The Rock and Diesel appeared to squash their beef on social media in 2019.
The Rock will not appear in the upcoming Fast 9 film, scheduled to be released in theaters this Friday, June 25. The film will feature another wrestling star in John Cena, who will star as Diesel’s brother.