You would think, given the advanced state of musculature, experience, and career level of action stars like The Rock, Jason Statham, and Vin Diesel, that all three would feel very secure and self-actualized. You would, reportedly, be wrong! The Wall Street Journal hilariously says that all three top stars in the Fast and Furious cinematic universe have such massive egos that entire scenes have to be stroked and massaged around them.
No, really. “Mr. Diesel” himself even proposed a mathematical system:
Mr. Diesel had an idea: Why not assign numerical values to every move—head butt, roundhouse kick, body slam—so he could calculate a total and determine if the two men were getting pummeled evenly?
The Journal reports that this plan worthy of the Fields medal was never taken up as it was “too complicated,” but it’s not just Diesel. Here’s Statham reportedly wandering into the edit suite to make sure he looks like a Big Muscle Man who is Big but also a Muscle Man:
Mr. Statham has been known to swing by the editing room to weigh in on fight scenes, according to postproduction crew members. “It’s like that old trope where an actor comes in and wants more close-ups,” said one “Furious” editor. “They want more muscles.”
And then there was the time Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson called his co-stars “candy asses” on Instagram.
The Journal goes on to write that one of the main challenges involving the F&F franchise at this point is making sure everyone’s ego is lovingly, massively stroked, to the point that they now have to figure out how to end every fight without one character losing to another character, lest all three stars somehow forget that they are Actors in a Goddamned Movie, and that none of this shit is real and nobody cares, you are there getting paid millions for an hour and a half’s worth of mindless entertainment.
Vin Diesel is 52. The Rock is 47. Jason Statham is 52.
May the next movie feature a 26-year-old pummeling all three of them, simultaneously, forever.