Diesel's "tough love" comment came in a new interview with Men's Health last month, where the actor maintained that everything he did was for the good of the films.
"It was a tough character to embody, the Hobbs character," Diesel said of Johnson's character in the franchise. "My approach at the time was a lot of tough love to assist in getting that performance where it needed to be. As a producer to say, 'Okay, we’re going to take Dwayne Johnson, who's associated with wrestling, and we're going to force this cinematic world, audience members, to regard his character as someone that they don't know' -- Hobbs hits you like a ton of bricks. That's something that I'm proud of, that aesthetic."
"That took a lot of work," he continued. "We had to get there and sometimes, at that time, I could give a lot of tough love. Not Felliniesque, but I would do anything I'd have to do in order to get performances in anything I'm producing."
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson said that he "laughed hard" at what his former co-star had to say about how he treated him while working on the films.
"I laughed and I laughed hard. I think everyone had a laugh at that. And I’ll leave it at that," Johnson said. "And that I’ve wished them well. I wish them well on Fast 9. And I wish them the best of luck on Fast 10 and Fast 11 and the rest of the Fast & Furious movies they do that will be without me," he added, seemingly washing his hands of the Fast franchise.
During Johnson's THR interview with his Jungle Cruise co-star, Emily Blunt, the actress joked co-star turned close pal, "Just thank God he was there. Thank God. He carried you through that." To which Johnson quipped, "Felliniesque."