The tension between Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, and Vin Diesel on the set of Fast & Furious movies is well-known at this point. A new report from the Wall Street Journal, citing sources from within the franchise, details how the three stars have stipulations that make sure they don't come out looking weaker than any of the other series leads.
According to producers and crew members on the films, Mr. Statham, 51 years old, negotiated an agreement with the studio that limits how badly he can be beaten up on screen. Mr. Diesel, 52, has his younger sister, a producer on the films, police the number of punches he takes. And Mr. Johnson, 47, enlists producers, editors and fight coordinators to help make sure he always gives as good as he gets.
The back-and-forth is sometimes obvious in the final product. In a fight scene between Johnson and Diesel in Fast Five, the two take turns smashing each other through walls. The actors frequently ask for adjustments on set so that their characters don't look weak.
Universal reps had a slightly toned-down take on the whole thing, papering over the idea of catering to diva-ish "alpha males" by saying it's all for the audience.
“Every character has their moment, and that all are seen as formidable opponents,” an unnamed studio spokesperson told the paper. “Each ‘Fast’ character is a hero to someone watching, and we never forget that.”