Fast 8 star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently finished filming his scenes for the latest installment in the blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise to move on to Jumanji, but he apparently did not make it through production without some real-life drama. Johnson posted an Instagram video two weeks ago calling out the “candy asses” among his male co-stars who did not “conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals” with him during the making of the movie.
Reports soon surfaced that Johnson’s rant was directed at Vin Diesel, whom it was reported had butted heads with Johnson on set during production. Their problems reportedly stemmed from decisions Diesel had made as a producer that Johnson did not agree with, which led to the pair meeting together to hash out their differences. It’s unclear if they ever resolved their underlying issues, but their other male co-stars are remaining silent on the subject. Not long after Tyrese Gibson posted on Instagram that he has never had a problem with Johnson, Jason Statham is now weighing in — by staying out of it.
Speaking to People at a press event for his new move Mechanic: Resurrection, Statham said he is not involved in any reported feuds and intends to keep it that way. “I stay out of any bickering or any troubles that people have,” said Statham. “I have nothing to do with it and I don’t want any part of it.” Statham, 49, will reprise his role as villain Deckard Shaw in Fast 8, but his scenes with Johnson as his on-screen enemy Agent Luke Hobbs, apparently, won’t feature any authentic tension between the two.
Fast 8 marks the fourth time Diesel and Johnson have worked together in the franchise, but the first instance of apparent real-life problems between the co-stars. Ironically enough, Diesel’s character Dominic Toretto and Johnson’s Hobbs began as enemies in Fast Five before eventually becoming allies. It makes you wonder how things might have gone if Tommy Lee Jones, the original choice for Agent Hobbs, was cast instead.
Johnson made a great point in his original Instagram post and subsequent statements that sparked the entire controversy: sometimes, some real conflict can be a good thing for the sake of the movie. Great filmmaking doesn’t necessarily require its makers to be easy to work with during production. Stanley Kubrick was notorious for being one of the hardest directors to deal with in Hollywood, yet he consistently produced outstanding work. The late Marlon Brando had a hard-earned reputation for being difficult, yet he often brought out the best in his co-stars and is widely regarded as one of the finest actors of his generation.
However, unprofessional behavior and drama on the set of an otherwise professional production can also hurt a production or derail it altogether. A source close to the Fast 8 production told People that tension had been “building for months” on the set between Diesel and Johnson. Sources said that each had arrived late to the set at times, while Diesel was accused of “diva behavior,” at times holding up production entirely. It’s possible that this environment could have proven too toxic to make the movie as great as it could have been.
Fast 8 arrives in U.S. theaters on April 14, 2017, with a trailer expected in December.