Action movie icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has opened up about the feud between himself and The Fate of the Furious star Vin Diesel, revealing that, while he regrets airing his grievances so publicly, he very much meant what he said. Asked whether the outburst had been caused by anything in particular, the actor replied, “Nothing specific happened, just the same old shit. And that just wasn’t my best day.”
“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 bullshit away from the public. They don’t need to know that. That’s why I say it wasn’t my best day.”
The dispute between the pair of Fast and Furious behemoths was ignited back in 2016, when The Rock called out some of his unnamed male co-stars as “candy asses.” At the time, Johnson explained that a “candy ass” is, “something you don’t want to be. And the best way that I can describe a candy ass is: Life is so much easier, I have found, when you are not full of sh*t. And a candy ass is completely full of sh*t.” Of course, it did not take fans long to guess who he might be referring to…
While The Rock expresses some regret over sharing this rather passive aggressive message to social media, he asserts that he absolutely meant every word. Though it does sound like he would love the chance to go back and handle things differently.
“No, I meant what I said. For sure. I mean what I say when I say it. But to express it publicly was not the right thing to do.”
Johnson goes on to reveal that he only agreed to appear in the eighth movie in Fast and Furious saga, The Fate of the Furious, so long as he did not have to appear in any scenes alongside Vin Diesel. “I wanted to forgo drama,” Johnson said. “I thought that that was the best thing to do. For everybody.” Despite keeping them apart, Johnson offers some details regarding a meeting that was had between the two (which no doubt had the pair wearing tight tank tops and looking akin to a scene from the movie itself), but ultimately The Rock concluded that he and Diesel are just two very different people.
“Well, there was a meeting. 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.”
Further clarifying, Johnson explains that he and Diesel are “philosophically two different people, and we approach the business of moviemaking in two very different ways.” Continuing, Johnson clearly still has issues with the way Diesel behaves on set, with the actor believing that his Fast and Furious co-star holds a misplaced sense of self-entitlement. “It’s the philosophy of going into work every day,” Johnson said. “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.”
Following Johnson’s initial candy ass-infused indictment of Diesel, the Fast and Furious lead came forward to defend himself, blaming the schism between the two actors on his “tough love” approach. “My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be,” he explained at the time. “Hobbs hits you like a ton of bricks,” he continued. “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 in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.”
Johnson though is buying none of what Diesel is selling, and could not help but poke fun at, what appears to The Rock at least, to be an ever-growing sense of ego and entitlement harboured by the star of Bloodshot.
“You know, I’ll tell you this. One part of me feels like there’s no way I would dignify any of that bullshit 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.”
While it now seems highly unlikely that The Rock will adorn the Fast and Furious franchise with his dominating presence ever again, the action superstar remains plenty busy. Johnson will soon be back on our screens in Netflix’s big budget action outing, Red Notice, starring as the FBI’s top profiler alongside two rival criminals played by Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. This comes to us courtesy of Vanity Fair.