At long last, action superstar Vin Diesel has spoken out on the heavily-reported feud with his ‘Fast & Furious’ series co-star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – and, perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s keen to stress that things have been “blown out of proportion.”
The generally affable Johnson surprised fans everywhere last August when, as the upcoming ‘Fast & Furious 8’ concluded production, he posted a hot-tempered rant on Facebook, complaining of “candy ass” male co-stars who “[do not] conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals… When you watch this movie next April and it seems like I’m not acting in some of these scenes and my blood is legit boiling — you’re right.”
While 44-year old Johnson did not mention any co-stars by name, it was widely assumed Diesel was the object of his rage. For his part, the 49-year old ‘Fast & Furious’ linchpin promised his Instagram followers, “I will tell you everything” – but next to nothing has been said on the matter since. Naturally this led to speculation that it was all a PR stunt for ‘Fast & Furious 8,’ with rumours that Johnson and Diesel would ‘fight’ it out at Wrestlemania 33 – but this did not come to pass.
Now, on the eve of ‘Fast & Furious 8’s release, Diesel has finally spoken out on the matter to USA Today, explaining, “I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way. 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.”
Whilst Diesel did not specify the root of his falling out with Johnson, he seems to suggest that his dual role as lead actor and producer may be part of it.
“I protect the franchise. I protect everybody including Dwayne. I protected Dwayne more than he’ll ever know. And it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have to know. But he appreciates it. He knows it.
“Dwayne has only got one Vin in his life. Dwayne Johnson only has one big brother in this film world and that’s me.”
Diesel continues, “I’m always rooting for Dwayne. I’m the first multicultural megastar in Hollywood. They didn’t exist. To see another multicultural star come up is something I am very proud of. I’m always rooting Dwayne on.”
Diesel’s claim to being ‘the first multicultural megastar’ seems debatable, given that his breakthrough role in 2000’s ‘Pitch Black’ came only a year before Johnson’s big screen debut in 2001’s ‘The Mummy Returns.’ (Diesel has a white mother and black father, whilst Johnson has a black father and Samoan mother.)
However, as Diesel concludes, “It’s not always easy being an alpha. And it’s two alphas [in ‘Fast & Furious’]. Being an alpha is sometimes a pain in the (butt).”
‘Fast & Furious 8’ will mark Diesel’s seventh appearance as street racing thief-turned-international action man Dominic Toretto, while for Johnson (who joined the series on 2011’s ‘Fast Five’) it will be his fourth time playing Agent Luke Hobbs. Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood and Kurt Russell will also appear, whilst F Gary Gray (‘The Italian Job,’ ‘Straight Outta Compton’) directs.
It’s in UK cinemas from this Wednesday, 12 April.