In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson candidly discussed his tumultuous relationship with Hollywood co-star Vin Diesel. He first shed some light on why his contract for The Fate Of The Furious included a clause that he would share no scenes with Diesel.
“I wanted to forgo drama,” he said. “I thought that that was the best thing to do for everybody.”
But a week before production ended on the film, Rocky took to his Instagram to post a now-deleted message to his followers. It read: “My female co-stars are always amazing and I love ’em. My male co-stars however are a different story. Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken sh*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. #ZeroToleranceForCandyAsses.”
When asked what provoked Johnson to get to such a level of frustration, he responded by saying, “Nothing specific happened, just the same old s**t. And that just wasn’t my best day [because I] chose to share it. It caused a firestorm.
“Yet interestingly enough… [it was] as if every single crew member found their way to me and either quietly thanked me or sent me a note. But, yeah, it wasn’t my best day, sharing that. I shouldn’t have shared that. Because at the end of the day, that goes against my DNA. I don’t share things like that. And I take care of that kind of bulls**t away from the public. They don’t need to know that. That’s why I say it wasn’t my best day.”
But does Johnson regret what was said in the post?
“No, I meant what I said,” Johnson stated. “For sure. I mean what I say when I say it. But to express it publicly was not the right thing to do.”
In the aftermath, Diesel and Johnson met up to address their issues with one another. But it was apparent to Johnson that the two men were significantly different, so he left it alone.
“Well, there was a meeting,” Johnson said, 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. [We are] philosophically two different people, and we approach the business of moviemaking in two very different ways.
“It’s the philosophy of going into work every day. 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.”
Diesel has previously responded in the media about his own personal stance working alongside Dwayne.
“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,” Diesel continued. “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.”
When reminded of what Diesel said about shaping the Hobbs character, Rocky started laughing.
“You know, I’ll tell you this – one part of me feels like there’s no way I would dignify any of that bulls**t 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.”