Fast and Furious 9: Vin Diesel addresses Dwayne Johnson feud over ‘tough love’06/23/2021
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This week Fast and Furious 9 hits cinemas to begin the next step of the Fast Saga. The film is the first entry in three films that has not included Luke Hobbs actor Johnson, who previously had a reported feud with executive producer and star of the film, Vin Diesel. The Dominic Toretto actor has now opened up about bringing Johnson on board in 2011 Fast Five, and how he got the best out of the wrestling star. Diesel confessed: “It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character.”
Diesel continued: “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.”
He went on to add, again, that he had to give a lot of “tough love” on set and added: “I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.”
The feud reportedly began in 2016 when The Rock wrote on his Instagram account: “Some [male co-stars] conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. The ones that don’t are too chicken s**t to do anything about it anyway. Candy a***s.”
He later wrote a lengthy “thank you” post on his account, naming most of the Fast and Furious crew.
Diesel, who was involved in almost every aspect of the Fast and Furious movie, was notably absent from Johnson’s list.
Fast forward to 2017 and Diesel addressed the feud by claiming it had all calmed down.
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Diesel said: “I don’t think the world really realises 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.”
Fast and Furious 9 did not include Johnson’s character, Hobbs, but he is due to receive a sequel to his spin-off movie, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, in the coming years.
Director of the Fast and Furious franchise Justin Lin has teased a return for Hobbs in the mainline series, however.
Speaking to the ReelBlend podcast, Lin said: “So many of the conversations I have is about characters that are not even in there but are still, obviously, they are living and breathing in this universe.
“On this one, when I came back, I was thinking a lot about Hobbs and Shaw, and all of the other characters.”
The director added: “I never think of them as being gone, for sure.”
Hobbs would not be the only character who made a triumphant return to the series after disappearing for some time.
Fast and Furious 9 reintroduced Han (Sung Kang) for the first time since his death in Tokyo Drift, and his second death in Fast and Furious 7.
Speaking out about his return, Kang said he kept the reveal “very close to his chest,” adding: “I actually haven’t even told my wife.”
He added: “I think if it wasn’t Justin, I would be very concerned and apprehensive. But Justin and I, we developed the character together. He understands that character as much as I do.”
Fast and Furious 9 hits cinemas tomorrow.
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