Dwayne Johnson is a man who knows a thing or two about beef. Before ascending to the lofty ranks of acclaimed action star, the actor was a professional wrestler with the WWE network who went by the stage name The Rock. As the Rock, Johnson played both the victim and aggressor in numerous planned storylines, the conflicts of which serve as the life blood of the professional wrestling world. Last year, a new and potentially real beef between Johnson and his “Fate of the Furious” co-star Vin Diesel, however, sent ripples through the franchise’s fanbase. Luckily, it seems the worst has passed and the two have reconciled.
“I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way,” Diesel said in an interview with USA Today. “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.”
Those are very magnanimous words from Diesel, who has had the better part of seven months to digest Johnson’s initial barrage. The beef was first served last year during the final weeks of filming “Fate of the Furious,” when Johnson took to Facebook to make some very ambiguous but weighty claims:
“This is my final week of shooting Fast & Furious 8. There’s no other franchise that gets my blood boiling more than this one. An incredible hard working crew. Universal Studios Entertainment has been great partners as well. 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.”
At the time, no one really knew how serious Johnson was to be taken. While the post was certainly comprised of fighting words, some were also words Johnson had relied on during his long tenure as a wrestling superstar. “Stick it straight up your candy ass” was a frequent refrain for the Rock, after all, and manufactured conflict has proven an effective tool for marketing. It seems now that Johnson’s words were heartfelt, but that both he and Diesel are in a friendlier place now.
Debuting in theaters on April 14, “Fate of the Furious” is a production of Original Film directed by F. Gary Gray and starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren.