According to Diesel, as a producer for the franchise he had to take a hard stance with Johnson who played Luke Hobbs.
“It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character,” Diesel told Men’s Health. “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 took a lot of work. We had to get there and sometimes, at that time, I could give a lot of tough love,” he said. “Not Felliniesque, but I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.”
In 2016 Johnson posted a photo on his verified Instagram account — which he has since removed — in which he talked about filming “The Fate of the Furious” and wrote “Some (male co-stars) conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don’t.”
That set off buzz that he was talking about Diesel.
“Family is gonna have differences of opinion and fundamental core beliefs,” Johnson continued. “To me, conflict can be a good thing, when its followed by great resolution.”
“And what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating,” he said. “It took me some time, but I’m grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not.”
CNN has reached out to reps for Johnson for reaction to Diesel’s comments.