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Vin Diesel gave Dwayne Johnson “tough love” on ‘Fast and Furious’ Set

(L-R) Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson in “Fast Five.” Universal


Vin Diesel gave Dwayne Johnson “tough love” on ‘Fast and Furious’ Set


Vin Diesel has explained his tumultuous relationship with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his Fast & Furious co-star.

In his Men’s Health July/August cover interview, the F9 star, 53, talked about working with Johnson, 49, who portrays federal agent Luke Hobbs in the popular film series. “It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Diesel remarked. “My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be.”

Diesel, who plays franchise protagonist Dominic Toretto and was also a producer on the films at the time, explained that he had to adopt that “tough love” approach since, in his opinion, Johnson was coming in as “The Rock” from his years as a renowned WWE wrestler. Diesel, on the other hand, wanted the Hobbs character to be someone audiences “don’t know.”

“That’s something that I’m proud of, that aesthetic,”Diesel continued. “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.”

Diesel is proud of the Fast & Furious franchise’s reputation.

“It’s not uncommon that I’ll give a speech on set where I’ll say, ‘We’re making this franchise for people that are no longer with us,’ which is very real, and the implications of that are very heavy,” he says. “But at the same time, we’re making the franchise for the people that aren’t born yet.’ When you have a unique perspective of creating a franchise that spans generations, you realize, okay, we all have to be as brilliant as possible. We have to reach as high as we can. Because it may be more important than just a movie. More important than two hours of escapism. There may be something more at play.”


At the premiere of Fate of the Furious in April 2017, Diesel, 53, and Johnson, 49, addressed the allegations about their on-set rivalry.

In August 2016, during Johnson’s final week of filming “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth movie in the franchise, their feud became public. On Facebook, the “Jungle Cruise” star chastised some of his male co-stars for acting like “candy a—es,” adding that some don’t “conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals.” Johnson was, in fact, blasting Diesel.

Shortly after, the two met in private to work out their differences, and subsequently expressed their satisfaction on social media. Johnson discussed the events of the 2018 meeting.

He told Rolling Stone, “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.”

“But I wish him the best, and I harbor no ill will there,” Johnson added, laughing, before adding, “Actually, you can erase that last part about ‘no ill will.’ We’ll just keep it with the clarity.”

Diesel, for one, stated that he and Johnson were still close at the end of the day.

“In my house, he’s ‘Uncle Dwayne,’ and I’m proud of that,” he said. “We still love each other, that’s my boy. When I was making that difficult decision, should there be a [Fast & Furious] 8 or not, I called [Johnson] and he said, ‘Brother, I will be there shoulder to shoulder with you to make sure it’s the best movie in history.’ And he delivered.”

Johnson went on to feature alongside Jason Statham in the “Fast and Furious” spinoff film “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” in 2019, although it’s unclear whether Johnson’s Hobbs character will ever work with Diesel’s Toretto again.

Johnson is absent from the newest edition of the franchise, F9, which will be released on Friday.

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