The Rock’s brash attitude, second-to-none work ethic, and competitive fire has carried over from the squared circle to the silver screen.
When “The Great One” joined the Fast & Furious franchise in 2011 on their fifth film, he became part of an established power ensemble. He was a hot commodity in Hollywood, but he wasn’t close to being the biggest action star in the world.
It was Vin Diesel who brought The Rock into the Fast & Furious universe as fans expressed their desire to see the two men share the screen together. The addition of another star, as well as decision to go from street racing to world saving, made Fast Five the high grossing film in the franchise to date, surpassing the $200 million threshold worldwide.
Following the success of Fast Five, the franchise only got bigger. More stars were added, the universe expanded, and the money kept rolling in. No one seemed to benefit from the explosion of the franchise like The Rock.
He took on more action-adventure roles, got his own television series, and became the highest paid actor in Hollywood.
By the time The Fate of the Furious rolled around, The Rock had become the biggest star on a set that included Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, and Charlize Theron.
And that’s when the problems started.
In a now infamous Instagram post on August 8, 2016, The Rock called out a candy ass co-star who made his blood boil.
“My male co-stars however are a different story. Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't. The ones that don't are too chicken shit 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.”
It didn’t take long for people to figure out that the candy ass in question was Diesel. The two had a secret meeting to clear the air and Rock went back to Instagram to let everyone know that things were fine.
“To me, conflict can be a good thing, when its followed by great resolution. I was raised on healthy conflict and welcome it. And like any family, we get better from it. At the end of the day me and #F8 co-stars all agree on the most important thing: Delivering an incredible movie to the world.”
That cooled everything down as the film entered post-production. But when it came time for the release of the film, and the press that goes along with the release of any film, the beef was brought up again.
Diesel told USA Today, “I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way. I think some things may be blown out of proportion. I don't think that was his intention. I know he appreciates how much I work this franchise. In my house, he’s Uncle Dwayne. . . . It’s not always easy being an alpha. And it’s two alphas. Being an alpha is sometimes a pain in the (butt).”
Rock and Diesel continued to downplay the feud, saying it was a difference of opinion that worked itself out.
Knowing about the feud between the two actors and then watching the film left fans with two schools of thought:
First, the feud was blown out of proportion given that the two shared the screen together for approximately two minutes. Rock spends the majority of the movie trapped in a prison with Statham, while Diesel is being blackmailed by Theron. Why would The Rock be so angry with a man who he barely saw on set?
Unless the feud was so real that they couldn’t share the screen. This is the more logical explanation given the director and editor tricks used to keep the two men together, yet apart, in the movie. It made little sense for the two to be kept apart on screen given their roles in the film, which means something had to happen off screen for them to not converse in front of the viewing audience.
We may never know the creative differences Rock and Diesel had during The Fate of the Furious, but it something plagued that movie more than Scott Eastwood.
Now, filming for Fast & Furious 9 hasn’t even started and The Rock is already making more enemies on set.
The new challenger for the former WWE champion is one Tyrese Gibson.
The two seemed to get along fine on previous films. Tyrese did take the side of Diesel during his beef with The Rock, but following the filming of The Fate of the Furious, Rock gave Tyrese a shoutout on Instagram.
“Tyrese Gibson you still have the biggest smile and forehead I've ever seen.”
Maybe things are good between the two actors on set, but Gibson’s issues with Rock stems from the two not making it to the set for Fast 9. Here’s the post that started it all:
“#PSA Congratulations to @TheRock and your brother in law aka 7 bucks producing partner @hhgarcia41 for making the fast and the furious franchise about YOU - And like you, DJ even if they call I will not be deleting this post - Gn folks see you in 2020 April #FastFamily right? Nah..... it's about #TeamDewayne #3yrs will it be worth the wait?"
This post came shortly after the announcement that Rock and Statham would receive spin-offs focusing on their Fast & Furious characters. Gibson is angry at The Rock, but not Statham, for pushing back the release of Fast 9 to 2020 so the spin off movie can be released in 2019.
He made more Instagram posts on the subject, all saying roughly the same thing, while also mentioning that everyone involved with the franchise has turned down a spin-off throughout the years.
Gibson took things a step further when he shared this video of Rock reviewing his album Black Rose.
The video must be older because Rock says, “Tyrese’s new album, Black Rose.” The album was released in 2015, back when there was no hint of a feud between the two. Rock also appears to be cracking a smile as he turns away from the camera. Tyrese also uses the post to promote his album, which fell off the charts over a year ago.
The Rock hasn’t acknowledged Tyrese throughout this beef, unless you want to count his hashtag #CandyAssesNeedNotApply at the end of his Instagram post announcing the Hobbs spin-off as a shot at Tyrese.
In a twist, Diesel doesn’t blame anyone for the delaying on Fast 9.
“I know there has been a lot of speculation as to why the Fast 9 release date was pushed... but it would be unfair to say it is anyone's fault.
However, like any vehicle that has run around the globe 8 times, the franchise is in need of maintenance. My good friend and the godfather of Universal, Ron Meyer has granted me the time to do just that. We have some very exciting news to share soon... stay tuned.”
Who knows what’s next in the feud between The Rock and his Fast & Furious co-stars, but one thing’s for sure: It’ll take place on Instagram.