— -- Vin Diesel disputes that he and his "Fast 8" co-star Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson had a frosty relationship.
"I don't think the world really realizes how close we are, in a weird way," Diesel told USA Today. "I think some things may be blown out of proportion."
Rumors began to swirl last August that Diesel, 49, and Johnson, 44, were feuding after Johnson took to Facebook and called some of his male co-stars "candy a----."
Johnson later clarified on Instagram, saying that the "Fast 8" cast and crew members are still his family.
Meanwhile, Diesel responded cryptically on Instagram. "So give me a second and I will tell you everything. Everything!" he posted.
Speaking to USA Today, Diesel said he didn't believe Johnson intended to disrespect him. "I know he appreciates how much I work this franchise," he said. "In my house, he's Uncle Dwayne."
Diesel did admit, however, to some creative tension on the set of "The Fate of the Furious." He also serves as a producer for the film.
"It's not always easy being an alpha. And it's two alphas," he explained. "Being an alpha is sometimes a pain in the [butt]."
Still, he said, "I protect the franchise."
He went on, "I protect everybody, including Dwayne. I protected Dwayne more than he'll ever know. And it doesn't matter. He doesn't have to know. But he appreciates it. He knows it. Dwayne has only got one Vin in his life. Dwayne Johnson only has one big brother in this film world, and that's me."
"I'm the first multicultural megastar in Hollywood. They didn't exist," Diesel said. "To see another multicultural star come up is something I am very proud of. I'm always rooting Dwayne on."
"The Fate of the Furious" hits theaters April 14.