We all know “The Rock” from somewhere, whether it is from WWE wrestling or from his charming singing in “Moana”. But there are a lot of facts we were never told about one of the most famous male actors of today. Now’s the time to find out that Dwayne Johnson is even more awesome than you thought.
His original nickname was not as awesome
Dwayne Johnson became known as “The Rock”, but long before that, his football teammates named him “Dewey”. Similar to many people’s nickname, this one was started when his friends overheard Johnson’s mother calling him that. By the way, his friends keep referring to him as “Dewey” to this day.
He got into Webster’s Dictionary
Johnson was a wrestler in WWE for a while, and of course he had to have a corny catchphrase to say to his rivals. He used to tell them that he is going to “lay the smackdown” on them. The word became so popular that in 2007 “smackdown” made It to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Yeah, that’s how famous he is.
He had to rerecord some of his part in “Moana”
Johnson is the voice of Maui from the Disney film, a part which showed us that on top of every other talent he has, “The Rock” can also sing pretty well. The hit movie was renamed “Vaiana” in some countries due to copyright issues. Therefore, Johnson had to rerecord some of his lines. In Italy there was another reason for changing the movie’s title – Moana is the name of a famous Italian porn star, and Disney was concerned about any possible confusion.
He once saved his mother’s life
At only 15 years old, Johnson’s family was in turmoil. According to Johnson, after losing their apartment, his mother tried to kill herself – she stopped the car on a highway and tried to walk into traffic. Incredibly, teenager Johnson grabbed her by the shoulder and pulled her back in the car, saving her life. Incredible.
His big movie paychecks have earned him a world record
In 2007, “The Rock” was inducted into an exclusive club – he had the Guinness World Record as the highest paid actor in his debut film. The Record was for the 2001 movie “The Mummy Returns”, and the salary was an impressive 5.5 million dollars.
His original plan for a career had nothing to do with Hollywood
When he lived in Miami, Johnson studied criminology and physiology. In fact, his game plan was to work for the CIA or FBI. It was only when a professor explained to him that he will probably need a law degree in order to pursue that career that he decided to ditch the idea. I bet Johnson is very thankful to that professor
He got his first guitar from a music legend
Dwayne Johnson revealed to Jay Leno that music living legend Willie Nelson gave him his first guitar as birthday present. Johnson have played on it and sang a few time in the WWE ring. It’s also pretty cool to know that “The Rock” and Willie Nelson are buddies.
He is famous for his cheat meals
Johnson famously works out around the clock and the globe. In fact, when flying to film abroad, he literally flies with an entire Gym that’s built on site just for him. But he’s also known for when he goes off his diet for a short while. He told Reddit that he once had apple pie with eight slices of French toast, all while watching “Star Wars”. He also described his ideal cheat meal – pancakes, peanut butter brownies, double dough pizza and of course a Diet Coke. Truly epic.
His family is also on set
Being the gigantic star that he is, Johnson uses a stunt double for some of the more daring dangerous action scenes of his films, because those huge franchises can’t afford him to get an injury mid filming. He has a loyal stunt double that works with him on many movies – his nephew, Tanoai Reed.
“The Rock” once held another impressive world record
In 2015 Johnson set a Guinness World Record for the most selfie in a 3-minutes period – a whopping 105 pics. As you’d expect, he took those during a movie premiere, right on the red carpet. Others followed and broke the record, but I bet he could break it again today if he wanted to.
Johnson was considered for a movie part you’d never guess
The movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Facotry” (2015 version) was a big success, and famously starred Johnny Depp as the quirky chocolate maker. Shockingly, the movie’s director, Tim Burton, considered another choice for the role – Johnson. Interesting to think how that would have changed Johnson’s career.
He was also considered for a movie part that you’d totally guess
It was reported in 2002 that Johnson was going to play the muscular Johnny Bravo in a live action adaptation of the cartoon. A producer of the film even said the “The Rock” was a fan of Johnny Bravo as a kid (no surprise here). Unfortunately for us, the movie was never made.
We should probably stop calling him “The Rock”
In an interview in 2006, Johnson said that he no longer wants people to call him by his iconic nickname. He explained that after having retired from wrestling at WWE, he now sees himself as an actor, he longer wants to use his wrestling name.