Speculation, rumour and innuendo around Vin Diesel and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has existed since the pair first went head to head on screen in 2011.
Things came to a head in 2016 while filming Fast 8, where in a since deleted Instagram post, Johnson appeared to call out an unnamed male co-star believed to be Diesel.
Johnson later addressed the tension in a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, revealing that the pair had a face to face meeting to try and iron things out.
Speaking in a new interview ahead of the release of the latest instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9, Vin Diesel has given his side of the story. In conversation with Men’s Health, Diesel put the tension down to “tough love” on set.
“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Diesel says. “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 in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.”
While F9 doesn’t feature Johnson, the movie does see the arrival of John Cena in the long-running franchise, where he plays Dom Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) long-lost brother Jakob.
Away from Hollywood, it has been reported that The Rock may be heading back to WWE. The new report notes that while WWE hope to pin down Johnson for Survivor Series, no agreement has yet been reached.
Survivor Series 2021 will mark the 25th anniversary of The Rock’s WWE debut.
The Rock was the sole survivor in the match where he teamed with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, ‘Wildman’ Marc Mero, and ‘The Stalker’ Barry Windham to defeat Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, Crush, Goldust, and Hunter Hearst-Helmsley.