(CNN) – Remember that notorious row between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson from a few years ago? It was because of “tough love.”In an interview with Men’s Health, Diesel offered his explanation as to why he and his former “Fast & Furious” franchise co-star had a fight, something Johnson had publicly addressed in 2018.
According to Diesel, as a producer on the franchise he had to take a tough stance on Johnson, who played Luke Hobbs.
“He was a difficult character to embody, Hobbs,” Diesel told Men’s Health. “My focus at the time was a lot of ‘tough love’ to help get that performance to where it needed to be. As a producer, to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to take Dwayne Johnson, who is associated with wrestling, and we’re going to forcing members of the public in this cinematic world to view his character as someone they don’t know … Hobbs hits you like a ton of bricks. “
Diesel went on to say, “That’s something I’m proud of, that aesthetic.”
“That took a lot of work. We had to get there and at times, at that point, it could be very hard,” he said. “He’s not Felliniesco, but he would do whatever it takes to get performances in whatever he’s producing.”
In 2016 Johnson published a photo on his verified Instagram account, which he has already deleted, in which he spoke of the filming of “The Fate of the Furious” and wrote “Some (male co-stars) behave like men of integrity and true professionals, while others don’t. “
This caused it to be rumored that he was referring to Diesel.
Johnson also posted a clip of the shoot on Instagram, writing: “Those of you reading this know how much I believe in the idea of TEAM EFFORT. That means respecting each person, their time, and their worth when they come on my set or work. they associate with our production company. And as in any team, which is a family, there are going to be conflicts. “
“The family is going to have differences of opinion and fundamental beliefs,” Johnson continued. “For me, conflict can be a good thing, when it is followed by a great resolution.”
Johnson spoke to Rolling Stone magazine in 2018 and said that “Vin and I had some discussions, including a major showdown in my trailer.”
“And what I came to understand is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies about how we approach filmmaking and collaboration,” he said. “It took me some time, but I’m grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not.”
Johnson starred in the 2019 spin-off “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” but is not appearing in the new movie “F9,” which opens this Friday.
CNN reached out to Johnson’s representatives for their reaction to Diesel’s comments.