The feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson got so heated that the two stars would refuse to even be in the same frame of the eighth Fast & Furious movie, despite their characters appearing in several scenes together, leading to the dots awkwardly being joined in post-production.
Things got so bad that Tyrese Gibson even got involved, blasting Johnson for choosing to make spinoff Hobbs & Shaw at the expense of reuniting with the gang for F9. It looks like those fences have been mended, though, after the franchise’s Luke Hobbs publicly praised his fellow bald-headed action icon on social media, with Diesel reciprocating by teasing a return to the fold for The Rock in Fast 10.
However, in a new interview Diesel addressed the beef between the two alpha males, and his wording was very peculiar. You see, the longtime Dominic Toretto claims that it was all a genius plan on his part, and he deliberately masterminded the antagonism between the two actors in an effort to draw out the best possible performance from the former WWE star.
“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 in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.”
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This directly contradicts with Johnson’s version of events, where he hinted that conduct and professionalism were behind his discontent. But, for whatever reason, Diesel appears to be pushing the narrative that pissing off his co-star on purpose was all part of his plan to distance his opposite number from his established wrestling persona, even though The Rock had been a full-time actor for eight years by the time he made his Fast & Furious debut. It’ll be interesting to hear what Johnson makes of this, but fans won’t care in the slightest as long as Hobbs returns for the final two chapters in The Fast Saga.