Furious feud fast forgotten

Furious feud fast forgotten
US actor Vin Diesel (Left) and co-star Dwayne Johnson
PHOTO: AFP

According to US actor Vin Diesel, reports of a feud between him and co-star Dwayne Johnson on the set of Fast & Furious 7 are highly exaggerated, notwithstanding the fact that the latter posted an angry message on Instagram last August after filming of the action flick wrapped.

Even though no names were mentioned, there was speculation Johnson was referring to Diesel and his habitual lateness.

In his post, he ranted of his male co-stars: "Some conduct themselves as stand-up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken s*** to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses. 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."

This allegedly led to a blow-up between the two in Johnson's trailer.

It is telling that at last month's CinemaCon, Johnson made an appearance to promote Baywatch and Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, but was conspicuously absent when it came time to shill for Fast & Furious 8, though Diesel and the rest of the main cast were present.

A studio source said the two were deliberately being kept apart on the press tour.

Read also: New Fast and the Furious races to meet fans' hopes

But Johnson, 44, appeared to bury the hatchet at the movie's New York premiere on Saturday, telling Entertainment Tonight that "Just like, in life, you have different philosophies and people have different fundamental philosophies on how you do things... the most important thing is just the movie."

Diesel, 49, is a larger-than-life personality with charisma to burn, but the tough guy with the shaved head also has an endearing side.

At our interview at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, Diesel had this to say about the rumoured row.

"I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy to have conflict with me... Dwayne is my little brother, somebody I care very much about."

He explained that the 100-day shoot in Atlanta, Georgia was arduous and as a producer, he had a lot on his plate.

Opening here tomorrow, this eighth iteration, the first of a trilogy that will wind down the franchise, sees everyone settling down to a normal life, until Dominic (Diesel) goes rogue and is seduced by the beautiful Cipher (Charlize Theron) into a world of crime he can't escape.

It's up to Dom's now-wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) to bring him back from the brink.

Diesel said: "As the caretaker and father figure for so many decades, I was now going down a dark road, was now in a conflicted headspace. I'm sure that added a strain."

He added: "I feel like it probably made for good attention to try to pretend that there was a beef between Dwayne and I, when there was zero beef.

"It's funny and really hysterical that people would think there is that kind of beef.

"When I hired Dwayne, it was something I was very proud of. And I think that he has brought a lot to the franchise."

So move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

CHEMISTRY

Diesel also has glowing things to say about working with Theron, Fast & Furious 8's antagonist, describing their chemistry as "powerful magic".

He said: "We pushed each other beyond belief. The things we said on various takes, if they were recorded, you would hate us both. We were ruthless to each other when we needed to be."

He tried to get her on 2015's Fast & Furious 7, but scheduling didn't permit it.

When they finally got together on the set of the new instalment, Diesel remembers "the power" being "so enormous".

"The weather was beautiful the whole time I was in Cuba. And the largest thunder and lightning storm I've ever seen happened the day we met. And we knew that there was something coming."

Realising the value of product placement, car companies have showcased new models in the Fast & Furious movies, and this one is no different.

Enter the Dodge Demon, billed as the fastest car ever built, which was released yesterday.

Read also: Theron says villainous role in last "Fast and Furious" was challenge

Thinking of how the late actor Paul Walker, Diesel's friend and longtime co-star, died in a car crash in 2013, has it changed the way he drives?

He said: "Nothing changes the way you drive more than having little angels in the back seat. Kids changed the way I drive. I'm not as reckless and crazy with my life now as I used to be."

He has three children with Mexican model Paloma Jimenez, the youngest of whom is named Pauline after Walker.

He gushed about his partner, saying: "Paloma's the one that the top people at the studio call when they want something. Paloma's the one that keeps me alive and sane. Paloma is the best gift I was ever given. I'm alive today in part because of her."


This article was first published on Apr 12, 2017.
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