The Fast and Furious franchise is one of the biggest and most successful on the planet, but it wasn’t always headed in that direction. After movie three, when the creativity stalled, it almost became a direct-to-DVD franchise, until Vin Diesel saved the day.
For a franchise that always prides itself on the “family bond,” it’s surprising that these “family members” have squabbled so much over the years. Many of the actors’ and actresses’ feuds become public knowledge, opening a floodgate of gossip and unworthy news that sullies the entire franchise’s reputation. Diesel, Johnson, Statham, Rodriguez… the biggest names in the franchise are all at fault for causing strife among the “family.”
On the other end, we have stars who are an absolute pleasure to work with, and it’s little wonder why they keep getting called back to new roles.
Here are 8 Fast and Furious stars who are almost impossible to work with, and 7 who make going to work easy.
15 Difficult: Vin Diesel
As one of the two men who started the franchise (the other being Paul Walker), Vin Diesel has a lot of creative control of where things go. But not everyone always agrees with that creative control, or the direction the films take. Diesel’s feud with Dwayne Johnson over the years has been the stuff of legends, but Diesel has also had problems with Tyrese Gibson and even Michelle Rodriguez (though Rodriguez and Gibson both ended up defending him).
14 Easy: Paul Walker
Paul Walker “exuded an aura of clarity and pureness of soul,” one crewmember working on The Fast and Furious has said. Furious 7 director, James Wan, talked about working with the late star, saying, “Paul was the greatest guy I’ve had to work with and I’m not just saying that. He was the most down-to-earth and grounded person I’ve ever met. The best way I can sum him up was an accidental movie star… his heart was always about getting back into nature. He was just so easy to work with” (via nytimes.com).
13 Difficult: Dwayne Johnson
When Dwayne Johnson was added to the F&F family, people had high hopes—and his star power helped catapult the box office draws of subsequent movies. But he’s feuded with F&F head honcho Vin Diesel, once indirectly naming him a “candy ass,” and Tyrese Gibson. Johnson sited a fundamental difference in how he and Diesel made movies, as the source of their beef, but perhaps being such an alpha personality, he was just difficult to work with all the time.
12 Easy: Idris Elba
Idris Elba is both one of the hardest working men in showbiz and one of the sexiest men alive, depending on who you ask. But he’s also a down-to-earth soul and a DJ. Famed Hollywood producer Amy Pascal described him as “the best version of masculinity. He always seems like he is in the midst of a moral struggle, but he is the calmest one in the room. It’s rare, undeniable, movie star stuff.” He plays the big bad in the Hobbs & Shaw spin-off, a half-machine hellbent on destroying the world, but he’s been noted as being a pleasure to work with.
11 Difficult: Tyrese Gibson
Tyrese Gibson might not be too difficult to work with on-set, but his off-set antics cause so much grief that it’s sometimes a wonder he hasn’t been axed from the franchise. The singer and actor has made deplorable comments about The Rock—for being selfish with his spin-off, which pushed back the release date of F&F 9 by a year—and even though he always takes his Twitter rants down, they always get screenshot and blow up in his face.
10 Easy: Jordana Brewster
Jordana Brewster is probably one of the favorite female leads that the actors in the F&F franchise get to work with. She’s played Mia Toretto in all but three of the films, and she’s coming back for the 9th and 10th installments. As she told Men’s Fitness, “I adore Vin and Michelle. We’ve been a part of each other’s lives for so long, so I’m so happy to be back in the fold.” And the feeling is mutual. She’s also said of Paul Walker, “I miss him every day. He was such a good friend—a good soul. That’s hard to come by. He was one of the best parts of this franchise.”
9 Difficult: Scott Eastwood
With a surname like “Eastwood,” you have some pretty big shoes to fill, and everyone is probably slightly intimidated of you. He told Esquire that he was surprised how much time his co-stars spent in their trailers—that his dad (Clint) told him to never do that. It’s kind of a low dig, but still a bit passive-aggressive. He seems displeased that everyone goes back to their trailer—that they all have different routines—and that would get pretty annoying pretty quickly, having that attitude on set.
8 Easy: Kurt Russell
Simply put, Kurt Russell is easy to work with because everyone admires him and loves him. All the actors have fond memories of the legendary movies he’s played in, before he became Mr. Nobody in the F&F franchise. Even stars from other franchises have lauded him, such as Chris Pratt from Guardians of the Galaxy: “He’s really cool. He’s absolutely an artist. I’m in love with Kurt Russell.” Or Dave Bautista from the same franchise: “He’s super down-to-earth and just a real dude and real friendly to everybody, and that’s kind of cool to see because I’ve seen the opposite. There’s nothing superficial or pretentious about him He’s been just very patient with everything.” (via comicbook.com.)
7 Difficult: Michelle Rodriguez
Everyone in the F&F franchise loves Michelle Rodriguez and Letty, but she’s also made their lives a little harder—albeit for good reasons. She has nearly quit the franchise after demanding that women get better treated, before posing with Vin Diesel and saying he was one of the good guys. She’s also thrown shade to writer Chris Morgan, who wrote the scripts for every F&F film except the upcoming ninth, saying that he had “nothing to do with where the series is going.” Quite a bummer thing to say.
6 Easy: Helen Mirren
Hobbs & Shaw star Vanessa Kirby has said one of the big draws for her playing Statham’s sister was working with Dame Helen Mirren: “I always wanted to work with her. And you know, she’s so part of our history—and suddenly she’s playing my mom!” Mirren, meanwhile, is still working strong at the young age of 74, but with deadpan humor and grace that makes her a pleasure to work with on-set, without the pretentiousness of many of her contemporaries who know they’re a big deal.
5 Difficult: Jason Statham
Jason Statham is another alpha type, but unlike Diesel, he thinks it’s been a pleasure to work with Dwayne Johnson. That being said, there’s actually a stipulation in their Hobbs & Shaw contracts that states they’ll receive equal punishment on-screen, during fights, so neither looks like the loser. They refuse to lose to fights again one another because they’re so macho… and that’s a bit of an eye-roller, we must say.
4 Easy: Ronda Rousey
According to Michelle Rodriguez, the actress absolutely “loved it, loved it, loved it!” regarding her fight scene with Ronda Rousey in Furious 7. Despite getting knocked around and ending up with two golfball-sized welts on her head, she would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Rousey is a bit more mousy when it comes to working on the franchise, as she told E! News: “Every time I’m on a new set I get super nervous. I just want every body to like me!”
3 Difficult: Ja Rule
Ja Rule blew his chances for starring in the F&F franchise, and Ludacris took the reins. Ja was paid $15,000 to play Edwin in the first film, and offered $500,000 for a second reprisal, but he turned it down because his music career was booming at the time. As 2 Fast 2 Furious director John Singleton told Grantland, “Ja got too big for himself. He turned down half a million dollars. He wouldn’t return calls. I went to the studio to see him… he was kind of playing me to the side and I was like, ‘What? What is this s**t?’ This was all initiated by me. I then made the call. I called Ludacris.”
2 Easy: Justin Lin
It’s hard to mention a bigger unsung hero—a Fast and Furious star—than Justin Lin. The man directed movies 3 through 6, and has been brought back to finish the series strong with 9 and 10. Everyone on set loves him and loves working with him—including fans, with one tweeting (in response to Lin wishing Vin Diesel a happy birthday), “THANK GOD you are back to take care of our beloved Furious franchise! For me, these movies have always been about family and the family bond. Thank you.” Doesn’t get much better than that.
1 Difficult: Charlize Theron
We have no evidence that Charlize Theron was difficult to work with during her time with F&F, but we have our suspicions. First of all, she’s butted heads with some of the biggest actors in Hollywood, and has reportedly been a nightmare to work with. Tom Hardy, Tobey Maguire, Sean Penn, Angelina Jolie… they’ve all seen the shady side of her. Tom Hardy admitted that during their time on Mad Max: Fury Road together, they “drove each other crazy.” But in the end, “there’s a real beauty to that kind of relationship,” because it made the movie better.
References: nickiswift.com, comicbook.com, esquire.com, mensjournal.com