‘I laughed and laughed hard’

Looks like the on-again, off-again feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson might be back on again. Speaking with Men’s Health last month, Diesel explained that “tough love” lay at the root of his widely-publicized dispute with his Fast & Furious co-star, who exited the franchise following the eighth installment, The Fate of the Furious, to headline his own spin-off series.

“We had to get there and sometimes, at that time, I could give a lot of tough love,” Diesel explained about how he approached the adversarial relationship between his alter ego, Dom Toretto, and The Rock’s super-agent, Luke Hobbs. “Not Felliniesque, but I would do anything I’d have to do in order to get performances in anything I’m producing.”

Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson met for the first time in 'Fast Five,' the fifth entry in the 'Fast and the Furious' franchise (Photo: Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson met for the first time in Fast Five, the fifth entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise (Photo: Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

That “Felliniesque” reference raised a lot of eyebrows — including the owner of the world-famous “People’s Eyebrow.” In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson expressed wry incredulity at Diesel’s comments. “I laughed and I laughed hard,” the Jungle Cruise star said of the Fast 9 star’s comments. “I think everyone had a laugh at that. And I’ll leave it at that.”

Johnson also appeared to rescind a promise he made on Instagram ahead of the release of Hobbs & Shaw in 2019, when he thanked “Brother Vin” for his support of the spin-off. “I’ll be seeing you soon, Toretto,” he teased at the time. Jump ahead to 2021, and it sounds like he has no intention of re-teaming up with Torreto’s old crew. “I’ve wished them well. I wish them well on Fast 9. And I wish them the best of luck on Fast 10 and Fast 11 and the rest of the Fast & Furious movies they do that will be without me.”

Diesel and Johnson in 'Fast & Furious 6' (Photo: Giles Keyte/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Diesel and Johnson in Fast & Furious 6 (Photo: Giles Keyte/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

For the record, it sounds like Johnson’s Jungle Cruise co-star Emily Blunt is taking his side in the Torreto/Hobbs divorce. “Just thank God he was there,” she joked about Diesel’s “Felliniesque” approach to acting. “Thank God. He carried you through that.” She’d better be careful — the next time she and Diesel’s number one fan, Helen Mirren, are on a talk show together, they’re gonna have words.

Jungle Cruise opens July 30 in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access.

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