Vin Diesel Talks Giving The Rock 'a Lot of Tough Love'

“I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.”

Vin Diesel is taking a look back at working with his “Fast & Furious” co-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

In an interview with Men’s Health for their July/August cover story, the actor shared that he gave Johnson “a lot of tough love” when he joined the car racing franchise; Johnson and his character, Luke Hobbs, first appeared in 2011’s “Fast Five.”

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“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Diesel told Men’s Health. “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,” he added. “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.”

After starring in “Fast Five,” Johnson went on to reprise his role in “Fast & Furious 6” (2013), “Furious 7” (2015) and “The Fate of the Furious” (2017) as well as the 2019 spinoff film, “Hobbs & Shaw.” Johnson doesn’t appear in the upcoming ninth installment, “F9,” which comes out this Friday.

Johnson and Diesel reportedly had beef in the past. According to People, reports of a feud between the two date back to 2016 during the filming for “The Fate of the Furious.” Johnson went on to famously blast at least one of his co-stars as “chicken shit” and “candy asses” in a scathing social media post during production.

The situation escalated and when the movie came out, it didn’t appear as though Johnson and Diesel filmed their scenes at the same time. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2018, Johnson confirmed that he and Diesel “were not in any scenes together.” The “Jumanji” star also revealed that he and Diesel had a meeting in his trailer.

“Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer,” he recalled at the time. “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 [Diesel] all the best, and I harbor no ill will there, just because of the clarity we have,” Johnson explained, then after a laugh said, “Actually, you can erase that last part about ‘no ill will.’ We’ll just keep it with the clarity.”

Diesel addressed the beef in an interview with USA Today back in 2017.

“I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way,” he said. “I think some things may be blown out of proportion. I don’t think that was his intention. I know he appreciates how much I work this franchise. In my house, he’s Uncle Dwayne.”

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