Diesel, 49, explained in a new interview that he believes the drama surrounding him and Johnson, 44, was blown out of proportion by the media, and that the one-time rumored enemies are actually quite good friends.
“I don’t think the world realizes how close we are, in a weird way,” Diesel told USA Today. “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.”
Though Diesel didn’t get into specifics regarding their feud, which stretches back to August, it was rumored that it was Johnson’s unhappiness with creative decisions Diesel made as producer on their latest film that sparked his ire, and led to his infamous Instagram post, in which he called his male co-stars “candy a–es.”
“I protect the franchise, I protect everybody, including Dwayne,” Diesel explained of his role as producer. “I protected Dwayne more than he’ll ever know. And it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have to know. But he appreciates it, he knows it. Dwayne has only got one Vin in his life. Dwayne Johnson only has one big brother in this film world and that’s me.”
And it seems whatever launched the bad blood between the two is simply water under the bridge.
“I’m always rooting for Dwayne,” Diesel said. “I’m the first multicultural megastar in Hollywood. They didn’t exist. To see another multicultural star come up is something I am very proud of. I’m always rooting Dwayne on. It’s not always easy being an alpha. And it’s two alphas.”
Johnson’s August Instagram post featured a long rant that called out his male co-stars in the latest installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, and claimed the unnamed stars were “too chicken s—” to conduct themselves as professionals on set.
Shortly after, Diesel responded to the angry post with a Facebook video he addressed to his fans, and informed them that Johnson snagged a part in the franchise thanks to their input. Diesel praised Johnson’s performance in the video, saying that he “shined” in his role.
Still, Johnson defended his original comments in November, saying that he didn’t regret his harsh words — and instead, credited them for drumming up interest in the film.