When superstars butt bald heads, the world shakes — especially when it is Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, two of the biggest stars in the world in every sense, working together on the $4 billion Fast & Furious franchise.
That butting erupted in the final weeks of filming The Fate of the Furious last August, when The Rock took to Facebook and slammed unnamed male co-stars. "Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t. 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."
Diesel took the hit and then promised on Instagram, "I will tell you everything, everything."
Sure enough, Johnson's Hobbs does get plenty irate with Diesel's Dom, who goes rogue onscreen in Fate of the Furious (in theaters April 14).
But Diesel, 49, insists all is cool with the two stars during an interview with USA TODAY, saying Johnson, 44, is part of his family.
"I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way," says Diesel, who steered clear of the specifics of their disagreement. "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."
While there was creative tension on the set, Diesel says he takes the main blow at times as a producer.
"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," says Diesel. "Dwayne has only got one Vin in his life. Dwayne Johnson only has one big brother in this film world and that’s me."
So the two have have hugged it out and they're good?
"Always, always, always. I’m always rooting for Dwayne. I’m the first multicultural megastar in Hollywood. They didn’t exist," says Diesel. "To see another multicultural star come up is something I am very proud of. I’m always rooting Dwayne on."
The problem just might be the universe, much less a movie set, isn't big enough at times for the two massive personalities.
"It’s not always easy being an alpha. And it’s two alphas," says Vin Diesel. "Being an alpha is sometimes a pain in the (butt)."