DWAYNE JOHNSON HAS ARRIVED ON THE SET OF Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw with an arsenal of ways to insult Jason Statham. It’s January, and the pair are both speckled in mud and fake blood, perched on a sunny cliff above the Pacific Ocean in Kauai, Hawaii. They’re about to shoot a rare scene where nothing gets blown up, punched, or run over. The script already calls for Johnson’s Luke Hobbs to declare that he sees Statham’s Deckard Shaw as his diminutive sidekick: the Robin to his Batman, the Mini-Me to his Dr. Evil.
But when the Rock hops out of his truck—he prefers to drive himself to set, listening to chill Hawaiian radio on the way—the first thing he does is run over to Statham and start suggesting fresh oneliners they can hurl at each other (including one impressive Of Mice and Men reference). Huddling under a shady tree, the two soon work out a new bad-mouthing rhythm with writer-producer Chris Morgan, and when the cameras roll, they lay into each other with quips about their characters’ height, strength, appearance, intelligence, and lack of friends. Finally, when Shaw grumbles, “I’ll sidekick you right in the mouth,” director David Leitch calls “Cut!” and Johnson and Statham immediately abandon their scowls for grins.
“Jason loves to come to set extremely prepared, lines locked in,” Johnson, 47, says later, driving his black pickup back to