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Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, they’re the best of frenemies and the stars of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw have no problem embracing this dynamic. While no punches have been thrown like their onscreen counterparts, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have lobbed some seriously hilarious verbal blows at one another. In the latest salvo, Jason Statham says that The Rock is scared of heights and needles. Statham said:
We learnt that The Rock doesn't actually have any tattoos, because he doesn't like needles. He's also afraid of heights, so anything that happens up high, we have to lower the building down, because he gets really scared. We had to build a car he can fit in. You have to butter his hips to get him in the passenger seat.
Jason Statham dropped some serious and seriously funny bombs here in his interview with Total Film. According to Statham, the tattoos that we’ve seen The Rock sporting since his wrestling days and in feature films are not legitimate tattoos at all, but just transfer tattoos. That’s because the blockbuster movie star is afraid of needles, so presumably tattoo application is part of The Rock’s hair and makeup process.
That’s not the only thing that The Rock is afraid of according to his co-star. The actor who starred in a film called Skyscraper and whose character jumps out of one in Hobbs & Shaw apparently suffers from acrophobia, a fear of heights. He’s the biggest movie star in the world though, so the production accommodates him by lowering the entire building down to a less scary level. Sounds like a difficult and logistical nightmare, no wonder Hobbs & Shaw cost $200 million.
We’ve heard Jason Statham joke about The Rock’s size before, saying how it prevented him from getting into the McLaren in Hobbs & Shaw and he had to be CGI’d in instead. Jason Statham took that tack here as well, communicating the muscular, action figure-esque stature and physique of The Rock not as an advantage or something to aspire to, but as a weakness and inconvenience.
Based on Jason Statham’s jokes, starring in a movie with The Rock is full of complications that make things harder on everyone. Buildings have to be lowered, he’s got to be digitally inserted into cars, production assistants have to have sticks of butter on standby, etcetera.
Jason Statham has really showed his witticism and comedy chops in these digs at his co-star and the precision with which he has gone after his co-star's image is pretty impressive. The Rock’s persona is one of masculinity and confidence and physical capability, but according to Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson gets motion sick, is afraid of needles, afraid of heights, and above all else, he’s just too damn big.
This is of course all in good fun but it’s great to see the two embracing the antagonistic relationship between their characters. Their contracts may stipulate they can’t lose fights onscreen, but in the offscreen war of words, they aren’t pulling any punches. It's also nice to see these brotherly banter in the midst of the other drama that continues to persist in this franchise.