With Fast and Furious 9 doing the rounds in theaters worldwide, it’s not surprising that the film’s star, Vin Diesel has been asked about his alleged feud with former co-star Dwayne Johnson. The entire Fast family was reunited for the ninth installment in the franchise, but The Rock was nowhere to be seen.
It’s been well-documented that Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson have been nursing grudges against each other since 2016. The pair first appeared on screen together in 2011’s Fast Five, in which the former WWE superstar joined the long-running franchise as Luke Hobbs, an agent pursuing the Fast and Furious crew for their various crimes.
Dwayne Johnson even returned for the sixth and seventh entries in the saga. But in August 2016, the Black Adam star almost broke the internet with a since-deleted Instagram post in which called unnamed members of the cast “candy asses.” Fans immediately assumed that he was insulting Vin Diesel, who had been part of the Fast franchise since the original movie in 2001. A few days after filming for The Fate of the Furious wrapped, Johnson shared another Instagram post thanking some of the cast by name – but did not mention Diesel.
Understandably, some fans still have a lot of questions about the supposed feud. So naturally, in an interview with Men’s Health, Vin Diesel was asked about the behind-the-scenes rift between him and Dwayne Johnson. According to the F9 star, all parties chalked it up to family squabbles.
“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Vin 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. 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 to get performances in anything I’m producing.”
Vin Diesel’s comments on the situation are open to interpretation. It could be a sneaky way for the actor to take credit for Dwayne Johnson’s performance. Alternatively, the Guardians of The Galaxy alum could just be a really tough boss, which is understandable when you’re producing one of the biggest franchises in the world.
While we’ll never really know exactly what went down between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, there’s still a chance of a reunion. As previously reported, director Justin Lin has shared his thoughts about Dwayne Johnson’s return to the franchise, saying he isn’t ruling out the possibility. Meanwhile, fans can catch Vin Diesel and the rest of his crew in F9.
Set after the events of 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, the story follows Dominic Toretto and his family who must face his younger brother Jakob, a deadly assassin, who is working with their old enemy Cipher. He also holds a personal vendetta against Dominic.
Directed by Justin Lin from a script by Daniel Casey, the F9 stars Vin Diesel, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron.