There’s no stopping the incredible Dwayne Johnson.
By Michelle Talsma Everson
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is arguably one of the most recognizable stars in Hollywood. Not just because of his sheer size or good looks (which, don’t get us wrong, do help) but because of his good-humored nature and approachability factor. According to a recent Cnet article, he’s one of the most popular actors on social media.
From a family of professional wrestlers, Johnson made his WWE debut in 1996. While the WWE is what catapulted him to fame, many knew that Johnson had a star quality that was bigger than the ring. He’s always stayed grateful and true to his WWE roots though, making sporadic appearances throughout the years, even as his film career has taken off.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that Johnson, 46, was being paid upwards of $22 million for an upcoming film. Some sources commented that was a low-ball figure.
“He’s a freak of nature,” says Johnson’s Rampage co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan to Rolling Stone. “It seems like every month he’s in a movie and making a killing. In the middle of shooting Rampage, he’s off hosting SNL and doing ads for Apple and running for president and whatever else. He works out at 3:30 in the morning so he can get to set on time. I don’t know how he does it. And the other thing is, he’s a family dude, so not only is he juggling the nine million things he’s got on his plate for work, he’s also raising kids and got a happy marriage…”
Recently, Johnson made news by taking to his popular social media platforms to ask his millions of followers to help his home of Hawaii after the Kauai floods.
“Stay strong Kauai!” he wrote on social media. “Thank you to all the rescue workers and volunteers working tirelessly to help rebuild our communities and assist our local families. Proud of our fighting spirit and proud to bring our Jungle Cruise production back home to Hawaii.”
Johnson’s first leading role was in The Scorpion King in 2002; other notable roles include his reprising character in The Fast and the Furious franchise, Baywatch, and Jumanji. He also contributed his vocal talents to the animated film Moana.
“Johnson has found a sweet spot with the characters he plays: highly skilled bad-asses who are also sensitive and vulnerable, flawed yet decent men with big biceps and bigger hearts,” according to Rolling Stone.
“No one’s going to see me play a borderline psychopath suffering from depression,” Johnson told the magazine. “I have friends I admire, Oscar winners, who approach our craft with the idea of ‘Sometimes it comes out a little darker, and nobody will see it, but it’s for me.’ Great. But I have other things I can do for me. I’m gonna take care of you, the audience. You pay your hard-earned money––I don’t need to bring my dark sh-t to you. Maybe a little––but if it’s in there, we’re gonna overcome it, and we’re gonna overcome it together.”
He’s currently filming Jungle Cruise, and a sequel to Jumanji is rumored to be in the works. Because of his work ethic, Forbes has named Johnson in the top most powerful celebrities every year since 2013 and Muscle & Fitness named him “Man of the Century” in 2015, among many other accolades.
While Johnson may specialize in playing characters that the audience can root for, he’s also shared some of his own life’s challenges with the public, which helps to make him even more relatable. Recently, he told the Express about his private battle with depression and his mother’s suicide attempt several years ago.
“She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic,” he says to Express. “Big rigs and cars were swerving out of the way. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road… What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is that to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t.”
“We both healed but we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain,” he continued. “We have to help them through it and remind them they are not alone.”
When the news broke about the star’s battle with depression, fans across the globe shared their own stories with him. He, in true “Rock” form, provided comfort to many of them.
These days, while Johnson is open about his own personal battles, he remains known for his optimism and can-do attitude. Of course, he works out continuously (his home gym is rumored to have more than 45,000 pounds of equipment) but perhaps what’s keeping him most active is his growing family. He and girlfriend Lauren Hashian recently welcomed their second daughter (daughter number three for Johnson).
“I was raised and surrounded by strong, loving women all my life, but after participating in baby Tia’s delivery, it’s hard to express the new level of love, respect, and admiration I have for @laurenhashianofficial and all mamas and women out there,” he posted to social media. “… And to my third and youngest daughter, Tiana Gia—like I did when your two older sisters Simone Alexandra and Jasmine Lia were born—you have my word, I’ll love, protect, guide and make ya laugh for the rest of my life…Your crazy dad has many responsibilities and wears many hats in this big ol’ world, but being your dad will always be the one I’m most proud to wear.”
What’s next on Johnson’s plate? According to some media outlets, a presidential run may be in the future.
To learn more about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @therock. On Facebook, he can be found at facebook.com/DwayneJohnson.