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Dwayne Johnson Says ‘Fast & Furious’ Crew ‘Quietly Thanked’ Him for Slamming Vin Diesel

Why don't Johnson and Diesel get along? "[We are] philosophically two different people," Johnson said.

Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson in "Fast Five"

Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson in “Fast Five”

Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Dwayne Johnson revealed in a new interview with Vanity Fair that crew members on the “Fast & Furious” franchise thanked him after he called out Vin Diesel as a “chicken shit” and “candy ass” in a viral Instagram post, which revealed the extent to which Johnson and Diesel had been feuding during the making of the “Fast” movies. The feud itself has been well documented over the years. Johnson admitted regret to Vanity Fair in going public with his frustrations over Diesel, but he stands by everything he said.

For starters, here’s the original quote Johnson put out on Instagram slamming Diesel: “My female co-stars are always amazing and I love ’em. My male co-stars however are a different story. Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken shit to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. 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. #ZeroToleranceForCandyAsses.”

Johnson told Vanity Fair the day he posted the above “just wasn’t my best day” because he “chose to share it” with the world. “It caused a firestorm. Yet interestingly enough…[it was] as if every single crew member found their way to me and either quietly thanked me or sent me a note,” he added. “But, yeah, it wasn’t my best day, sharing that. I shouldn’t have shared that. Because at the end of the day, that goes against my DNA. I don’t share things like that. And I take care of that kind of bullshit away from the public. They don’t need to know that. That’s why I say it wasn’t my best day.”

“I meant what I said. For sure. I mean what I say when I say it,” Johnson added. “But to express it publicly was not the right thing to do.”

Johnson also confirmed rumors that he met with Diesel after the post went viral, but added, “I wouldn’t call it a peaceful meeting. I would call it a meeting of clarity. He and I had a good chat in my trailer, and it was out of that chat that it really became just crystal clear that we are two separate ends of the spectrum. And agreed to leave it there.”

“[We are] philosophically two different people, and we approach the business of moviemaking in two very different ways,” Johnson told Vanity Fair. “It’s the philosophy of going into work every day. Looking at everybody as equal partners. And looking at the studio as equal partners. And looking at the crew, regardless of where you’re at, either on the call sheet or otherwise, as equal partners—with respect and with humility, and being respectful of the process and every other human being who is putting in just as much time, just as much hard work and sweat equity, if not more. And I think it’s always been important to me to always be straight up and look somebody in the eye. And if you say you’re going to do something, do it.”

Diesel reopened the feud in June after explaining to Men’s Health magazine that the source of the tension was him “giving tough love” to Johnson in order to get Johnson’s acting to “where it needed to be.” Diesel added, “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.”

How does Johnson feel about Diesel’s explanation? “One part of me feels like there’s no way I would dignify any of that bullshit with an answer,” he told Vanity Fair. “But here’s the truth…I go into every project giving it my all. And if I feel that there’s some things that need to be squared away and handled and taken care of, then I do it. And it’s just that simple. So when I read that, just like everybody else, I laughed. I laughed hard. We all laughed. And somewhere I’m sure Fellini is laughing too.”

Head over to Vanity Fair’s website to read Johnson’s cover story in its entirety.

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