Dwayne Johnson is opening up about that Instagram post about Vin Diesel that “caused a firestorm” and the one reason he regrets it.
In the November cover story for Vanity Fair, Johnson elaborated on his much-talked-about relationship with Vin Diesel, including the now-deleted post in which the Hobbs & Shaw star praised his female co-stars on The Fate of the Furious while criticizing the professional conduct of “some” of his male co-stars. It has since been revealed that the post was an indirect reference to Diesel, with Johnson telling the magazine that “nothing specific happened” when he decided to post it, “just the same old shit.”
But the Jungle Cruise and Red Notice star did admit that it “just wasn’t my best day,” despite having no regrets about what he said in the post. “I meant what I said. For sure. I mean what I say when I say it,” Johnson confirmed. “But to express it publicly was not the right thing to do.”
“It caused a firestorm,” he added. “Yet interestingly enough … [it was] as if every single crew member found their way to me and either quietly thanked me or sent me a note. But, yeah, it wasn’t my best day, sharing that. I shouldn’t have shared that. Because at the end of the day, that goes against my DNA. I don’t share things like that. And I take care of that kind of bullshit away from the public. They don’t need to know that. That’s why I say it wasn’t my best day.”
Johnson said that he agreed to return for the series’ eighth chapter — which he implied would be his last in the main franchise during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter — on the condition that he and Diesel would not share scenes together. “I wanted to forgo drama,” he explained. “I thought that that was the best thing to do. For everybody.”
The Black Adam star also clarified that a reported meeting between the two on set in Johnson’s trailer wasn’t really a “peaceful” coming together, but at least for him, there was an understanding that he and Diesel are “philosophically two different people and we approach the business of moviemaking in two very different ways.”
“Well, there was a meeting,” Johnson confirmed. “I wouldn’t call it a peaceful meeting. I would call it a meeting of clarity. He and I had a good chat in my trailer, and it was out of that chat that it really became just crystal clear that we are two separate ends of the spectrum. And agreed to leave it there.”
The actor and producer struck down several ways Diesel has characterized their private-turned-public clash and relationship, including a notable statement in Men’s Health from Diesel that explained their tension as a result of the Fast lead pushing Johnson to do his best work as someone coming from a wrestling background.
While Johnson told Vanity Fair, “one part of me feels like there’s no way I would dignify any of that bullshit with an answer,” he did ultimately point to how he “came up differently and was raised differently” and is from a different culture and environment. That, Johnson says, has given him a different philosophy than Diesel, and one where “I go into every project giving it my all.”
“It’s the philosophy of going into work every day. Looking at everybody as equal partners. And looking at the studio as equal partners. And looking at the crew, regardless of where you’re at, either on the call sheet or otherwise, as equal partners — with respect and with humility, and being respectful of the process and every other human being who is putting in just as much time, just as much hard work and sweat equity, if not more,” he said.
Added Johnson, “I think it’s always been important to me to always be straight up and look somebody in the eye. And if you say you’re going to do something, do it.”