“I don’t think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way,” Diesel, 49, said of Johnson, 44. “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 the xXx actor steered clear of the specifics of his much publicized feud with the WWE star, he hinted that there were some creative differences on the set of the eighth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise. “I protect the franchise. I protect everybody including Dwayne,” he told the outlet. “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.”
Diesel added, “Dwayne has only got one Vin in his life. Dwayne Johnson only has one big brother in this film world and that’s me.”
Johnson shared a cryptic post on Instagram in August 2016, slamming several of his male costars as unprofessional “candy asses.” Soon after, TMZ reported that the rant was about Diesel, who later responded on his own Instagram account, writing, “Give me a second, and I will tell you everything. Everything.”
The Fate of the Furious hits theaters on Friday, April 14.