None of the last couple Fast & Furious movies or their spinoffs have been as entertaining as the ongoing beef between the franchise’s two biggest stars: Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. The feud spilled out into public when Johnson first posted something on Instagram towards the end of production on The Fate of the Furious, slamming unnamed “male co-stars” who were, in his estimation, “candy asses.”
Johnson later deleted the picture, and now says he regrets posting it. Not because it wasn’t true, but because “I don’t share things like that. And I take care of that kind of bulls— away from the public.” Still, that doesn’t mean his feelings about Diesel have changed at all. In a new and wide-ranging interview about his life and career for Vanity Fair, Johnson offers some candid thoughts on what started the issue, and responds to some of the things Diesel has said about their relationship in the press.
The issue, Johnson told VF, is that he and Diesel are “philosophically two different people, and we approach the business of moviemaking in two very different ways.” Johnson said he looks “at everybody as equal partners,” implying that Diesel does not.
He also responded directly to one of Diesel’s more eye-catching statements in recent years where he claimed credit for Johnson’s success in the film world, claiming The Rock’s performances in the Fast franchise largely came as a result of Diesel’s own “tough love” style of producing. (“Not Fellini-esque, but I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing,” Diesel said while promoting F9 last summer.)
Here was Johnson’s response to Diesel’s assessment of his acting skills:
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 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.
This isn’t the first time Johnson publicly responded to these comments. When Diesel’s statement first went public, Johnson went on the record saying he wished the franchise well, but he was not going to return to the Fast & Furious series for any future movies. The battle between Dominic Toretto and Luke Hobbs may be over, but the war of words between Diesel and Johnson shows no signs of stopping.
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