The much-delayed F9 is finally opening in North America this week and the cast has been on promotion ahead of the release. The leader of the Fast and Furious franchise, of course, is Vin Diesel and he covers Men’s Health this month to show off his 53-year-old body and tell us what a great filmmaker he is. Like we’re getting stories in this piece about how he makes the suggestions often on where to place cameras and how best to shoot scenes. And, also, as a producer, how he knows how to get the best performances out of the actors. Including Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
Do you remember this boy sh-t? Boy sh-t is also the best sh-t, and Vin and The Rock got into some boy sh-t a few years ago on the set of Fast 8. A quick refresher – apparently the two did not get along during production and The Rock ended up posting a cryptic message on Instagram about some “candy asses” he was working with. Initially they tried to blame each other, with Vin’s side leaking information about how The Rock was late all the time and other sources countering that it was Vin’s unprofessionalism that was pissing The Rock off. The Rock, as we know, has a reputation for being a hard worker, for never stopping, for his neverending hustle. And this is …not Vin’s reputation. At the time, there were reports that crew members were sick of waiting on Vin, and his endless partying, and rumours that he acts like a king on set. So now, five years later, how’s Vin spinning the story? This is what he tells Men’s Health:
One previous family member who doesn’t appear in F9 is Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, who first showed up as Luke Hobbs in Fast Five (2011). It’s a bit of a messy story, with vague tales of discord on the set and Johnson calling unnamed male costars “candy asses.” In the end, all parties chalked it up to family squabbles.
“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.”
So basically he’s saying that the tension between them was due to the fact that, as a producer, he had to give The Rock some “tough love” so that he could deliver on his performance?! There is a LOT to unpack here. And is it shade? 100% it is shade!
All that talk about The Rock coming from wrestling and getting into the “cinematic world” and being proud of the “aesthetic” … the way I read it, he’s taking credit for helping The Rock transition from the ring to the screen. Like if it wasn’t for Vin’s “tough love”, The Rock’s performance wouldn’t be where it was.
So, you see, it was Vin’s sacrifice, Vin had to go method for the greater good – and everyone wins, because he’s such a great actor-producer.
I mean, maybe that’s just my read. Maybe you read it differently. But I would love to know how The Rock reads it. Because… you know… as an actor-producer himself, with multiple successful franchises, and arguably a bigger movie mogul now than Vin, it would be great to get his take. Full interview with Vin Diesel at Men’s Health here.