It appears that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a big believer in the old Hollywood adage that says “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” In a new interview with The Los Angeles Times, the newly-minted “Sexiest Man Alive” revealed that he has no regrets over his feud with Fast 8 costar Vin Diesel—which played out over social media during filming—because it brought interest in the film to soaring new heights.
"I was very clear with what I said. I've been in the game a long time," Johnson, said in the interview. ”Would Universal [Pictures] have preferred that didn't happen? Sure, we talked about it. The irony is after that and as they do their tracking and all their analysis, the interest [in 'Fast8'] shot through the roof to a whole other level."
Rumors of a rift between the action stars emerged after Johnson shared a cryptic Instagram in which he threw major shade at a then-unknown male costar. “Some conduct themselves as stand up men and true professionals, while others don't,” he wrote at the time. “The ones that don't are too chicken shitt to do anything about it anyway. Candy asses.”
As various reports emerged that Johnson was targeting Diesel, the Chronicles of Riddick star addressed the controversy with a Facebook Live video. “Proud of our collective, stay positive—I mean that—don't beat anybody up,” he said.
The feud reportedly stemmed from Diesel’s role as a producer on the film, and decisions he made that “didn't sit well with the former wrestling champ,” according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
But Diesel seemed nonplussed by the feud, and even praised Johnson’s performance in the film, saying the actor “shined.” That might have something to do with the fact that according to Johnson himself, there wasn't much acting involved.
“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,” he wrote on Instagram.
We’ll see if the two have buried the hatchet when the Fast 8 press tour kicks off in the weeks leading up the film’s hugely anticipated April 12 release.