Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is not giving up his Sexiest Man Alive title without a fight.
And definitely not to his "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" co-star Idris Elba.
Johnson, who was given the illustrious People magazine title in 2016, had to deal with Elba taking the title in 2018. To rub salt in the wound, the award came down while the two screen rivals were shooting "Hobbs & Shaw" in London.
"(Elba) came on set full of bravado," Johnson recalls. "I reminded him, 'Yes, you are People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2019. I however, am the Sexiest Man Alive in what is called 'perpetuity.' That means for life.'"
Director David Leitch says there was a laugh on the set after Elba's "sexiest" coronation, and Leitch confirmed that Johnson did congratulate Elba.
"But it was clear he doesn't want to give up the mantel," Leitch says.
The Rock reigns: Undisputed king of the movie smackdown
Who'd have thought it! Thank you @people & all the fans for naming me #SexiestManAlive. Don't forget to grab your issue this week https://t.co/WI7eWfXOPB. I'm honoured & thankful. What’s even more important is your vote in the midterm elections. Your vote can make a difference!👊🏾 pic.twitter.com/TBQapjxJsT— Idris Elba (@idriselba) November 6, 2018
The director wisely took full advantage harnessing the stars' qualities. The Rock, as rogue lawman Luke Hobbs, has scenes where he keeps a helicopter from escaping with nothing but a chain, a truck, a grimace and some massive biceps. And during his "Hobbs & Shaw" shirtless battle scene, Johnson looked even more insanely huge than ever.
Leitch says Johnson trained Rock specifically for the bare-chest unveiling, and ensuing battle.
"He worked toward that pivotal moment," Leitch says. "And I appreciated all the hard work because he was huge. And if you have the Rock shirtless, I'm going to have the scene back-lit by car lights. That's just going to happen. Come on."
Elba's cybernetically enhanced Brixton Lorr is a beast of a movie villain who, naturally, has to take his shirt off during scenes at the laboratory (impressive, even before the test results). The Rock did give full respect to Elba for his full-on villainy.
"Idris came in and just crushed it," says Johnson.
Despite the compliment, Elba is not taking Johnson's perpetuity award claim seriously. He told "Entertainment Tonight," "As long as I am alive, I am the sexiest."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Hobbs and Shaw' dispute: The Rock or Idris Elba as Sexiest Man Alive?