Dwayne Johnson on Vin Diesel: I told him I would not be returning to Fast & Furious

The Rock at the Red Notice premiere in November
Dwayne Johnson has a new interview with CNN that reads like a pitch for himself. He’s talking business for the most part and the piece has an “executive in a meeting” vibe. I guess you have to be that way to reach his astronomical level of success. To his credit, The Rock remains approachable, humble and sounds genuinely grateful. The most interesting part of this interview was when he talked more smack about Vin Diesel. These two have been in a public feud for over five years. It’s been going on so long it’s hard to keep track. Dwayne has been somewhat terse about Vin in the past, but it’s clear there’s no love lost there.

CNN journalist Chloe Melas asked Dwayne about Vin’s kind of pathetic (my words) plea to get him to do Fast 10. If you recall, Dwayne dropped out of Fast 9 due to falling out with Vin. Then Vin laid it on thick in November to appeal to Dwayne to come back for the tenth movie, writing on Instagram “my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes… I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo. I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!” The Rock isn’t having that. Here’s what he told CNN:

There was a lot of buzz that you may rejoin the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. We saw that Vin Diesel recently posted he wants you back. We know you addressed potentially returning months ago, but were you surprised by Vin’s post?
“I was very surprised by Vin’s recent post. This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly – and privately – that I would not be returning to the franchise. I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return. I privately spoke with my partners at Universal as well, all of whom were very supportive as they understand the problem.
Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding. My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise with gratitude and grace. It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Regardless, I’m confident in the ‘Fast’ universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience, and I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”

You’ve said in the past, I believe specifically in your interview for your recent Vanity Fair cover, that you would not run for President in 2024 because you “don’t know a thing about politics.” Yet, according to a poll this spring, almost half of Americans would vote in your favor. Could “The Rock” still be a potential presidential candidate in the future?
“Well, I think that poll of almost half of Americans being in favor of me running for president is so humbling. It sits me down and I don’t know any other way to describe it. To have a little ability to potentially galvanize our country is humbling, very humbling. Might be the Teremana talking here but I still don’t know a damn thing about being a politician. I don’t know if I have that politician gene in my DNA. Leader? Yes. Patriot? All day long. Politician? No.
I feel the best position I can be in right now is to be a trusted, nonjudgmental place for people; regardless of what side of the street you live on, what color you are, what you do for a living, how you choose to live your life, what your bank account says, whether you drive a car or take the bus. I don’t care. None of that matters to me. Just work hard, take care of your family, be good to people, be kind to people, be straight up, honor your word and always [have] some fun along the way. And don’t be an a**hole. Like I said, I don’t think I’d make a good politician.”

[From CNN]

I love how Dwayne called out Vin’s manipulation and said he already reached a decision and communicated that to Vin, end of story. I also think if Vin wasn’t so cheesy and insistent that Dwayne would have made a cameo in one of the final Fast movies. Incidentally, Fast 10 won’t be the last one. It’s part one of a two part finale. As for his political ambitions, I think The Rock is weighing his options still. Note that he never said directly “no, I will not run for president,” he said that he wouldn’t make a good politician. That reads like he’s leaving his options open. He must have seen how people responded to Matthew McConaughey’s both-sides approach. Hopefully he has ruled it out.

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photos credit: Avalon.red, Frank Masi/Netflix © 2021 and via Instagram

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27 Responses to “Dwayne Johnson on Vin Diesel: I told him I would not be returning to Fast & Furious”

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  1. shanaynay says:

    I would love to know the specifics of what’s going on.

    • FancyPants says:

      Take this with a giant boulder of salt, but I read in a blind item that it has a lot to do with Johnson’s stance against the genocide of the Uyghurs and Diesel’s marketing concessions or desired marketing deals for the movies with the Chinese government.

      • shanaynay says:

        Thanks. Never heard anything about of that, but hey, I guess you never know.

      • jo73c says:

        Don’t believe for a second that DJ has ethical issues taking money from China (eg, Skyscraper.) He’s also not adverse to buddying up with the Saudis if they’ve got some $$$ to invest in production.

    • StellainNH says:

      This feud seems to have parallels to the SJP-Catrell feud. One harassing the other via social media.

    • Imara219 says:

      Word on the street is that Vin was acting like a prima donna on set which was unprofessional and disruptive to the crew. Vin was pulling diva moves and causing the crew to mid script deadlines. Rock thought it was disrespectful

  2. Rapunzel says:

    Vin Diesel needs The Rock. The Rock doesn’t need Vin Diesel.

    And the way Vin has been milking Paul Walker’s memory for years is disgusting.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I look at Vin Diesel the same way I look at Claude Van Damme, untalented, opportunistic and basing their ability on their looks and/or physical skills. As for VD, he is also manipulative and disgusting for how he conversed with DJ.

      As for DJ, I adore him!! I enjoy his acting, personality and he comes off as a good guy too!! I have not seen all of his movies, as you can count me out of the F&F crowd, but his others I have enjoyed. He’s a good egg!!

  3. Erica says:

    Just say no to celebrities running for office when they have zero experience.

    • WithTheAmerican says:

      Seriously. There’s more to being president than being a general good leader. There are these things called policies… there’s international security. There’s a lot to know.

    • Esmerelda says:

      I’d prefer “The Rock vs. Crisp Ratt: Presidential Campaign” to be just a movie, too.

    • Willow says:

      Start by governing at the city level at least. Why do people think money and media presence is all you need to run a country for millions of people?

      • Louise177 says:

        @willow: My thought exactly. I don’t have a problem with celebrities running for office but it’s when they think about a major office like President or Governor that gets me. Why not start small and locally to understand how the government works? A lot of average Joe’s run for office but very few run for a major office.

        Vin is embarrassing and Dwayne called him out in a hard but respectable way. He really could have gone catty.

    • lucy2 says:

      Absolutely. I’m all for people wanting to get involved and help, but do that by supporting experienced, qualified people.

    • GamerGrrl says:

      The wrap-around story in Young Rock is that he’s president in the future. I wonder if the whole “running for president” thing was intended to be publicity, but the public took it seriously.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yes, please @ Erica!!! No applicants unless they have the necessary education and work history!! We run our companies based on the qualifications of individuals, as we should expect the same for those who wish to work in the political profession. It’s a job, just like any other job. No experience, no JOB!!!

  4. Esmerelda says:

    I love The Rock’s response to Vin Diesel, I’m thinking I’ll use it as a template when I need to politely but firmly shut down someone who wants to reopen discussions on a decision agreed to months ago. Could Mr Johnson please release a “learn assertiveness with The Rock” course? I’d subscribe!

  5. milliemollie says:

    Wow, using your kids and a dead friend to try to guilt-trip someone makes Vin Diesel look like a giant ass!

  6. jen d. says:

    I kind of love how he isn’t buying into that whole “family” thing Vin Diesel goes on about. Also, VD can’t get out of his own way. He’s so stuck on his own macho self-image that he can’t see that he could learn from Johnson.

  7. lucy2 says:

    How very SJP/Kim Catrall, isn’t it? Manipulating to get a former costar back, costar repeatedly declines until it spills over into the media.
    I’m surprised Vin wants him back – the franchise is so huge, they don’t really need him, people will go see it no matter what, and it really seemed like a clash of egos, with Vin being the threatened diva.

  8. panthress says:

    I want to know what poll said that half of america would vote for Dwayne if he ran for President.
    It’s more like 90% of America would puke if he ran for president. The other 10% couldn’t care less. However, I will give credit to where credit is due; Dwayne knows how to play the part of a humble caring individual. This is his very calculating and very cunning personal relations persona at work. If he ever became president, the peanut on steroids will show you his true personality and you will not like it.

    • AmB says:

      They asked 10 randos coming out of an action movie and multiplied. Wasn’t it Mark Twain who popularized that crack about “lies, damned lies, and statistics”? Still true.

  9. Ainsley says:

    Having only watched the first movie, are they all about hijacking cars?? How many movies can you make about the same people stealing cars?? Again, said as a person who only watched one, so maybe I’m wrong.

    • Hyrule Castle says:

      The movies aren’t about hijacking cars.
      They were about using cars to hijack trucks, to steal & resell the contents.
      That morphed into now working for a secret agency as an elite crew that stops criminal masterminds.
      The only connection to the first films is, they use cars to stop the criminals.

      It was a fine movie franchise, the plots made sense & it was just good fun to watch.

      It’s preposterous now. You aren’t missing anything & they should have stopped after Paul Walker died.

  10. Houghlihann says:

    Maybe I misread the tone in his initial interview about it, but I really thought all of the “The Rock may run for President” talk was him cheekily promoting Young Rock, where the whole gimmick is a future, caricature version of Dwayne Johnson running for president (the show has a phenomenal cast and I hope more people watch it). It was a PR tactic trying to drum up interest in the show, but it backfired because the idea of him running for President became the headline, not the show. That’s why he’s backpedaled in the last 6 months.