It seems as if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can do just about anything and be successful at it. We know he works extremely hard and nothing in life really comes easy, but whatever The Rock touches seems to just turn to gold. Johnson has been doing his thing for many years and long before anyone new him as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He was a member of the 1991 Miami Hurricanes’ National Championship Team. He then decided to transition into a professional wrestling career, which he has done extremely well with, winning many competitions which included 8 WWF/WWE championships before retiring in 2004
Johnson went from wrestling to becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars over the span of just a few years, earning millions for each film and earning an enormous group of dedicated fans. No other wrestler besides Hulk Hogan has broken out and became a household name, and a household name he is. Unless you live under a rock, I am sure you’ve heard and seen The Rock somewhere on TV. Even though he’s a household name, there’s still a lot you may not know about “one of the most electrifying man in sports entertainment,” which he referred to himself while wrestling (apparently he wasn’t humble then). So here’s 15 things you may not know about The Rock.
15. Johnson Has Fears Like Everyone Else
Who would have ever thought that such a big guy would be afraid of anything. It just goes to show you that size doesn’t matter! Everyone has fears. The 275-pound of all-muscle has fears just like the rest of us. Johnson is afraid of spiders, “miniature” horses, and roller coaster rides. Imagine how big he must look to spiders. But hey, many people are afraid of spiders as well, so we can’t judge. This just makes us love him even more because he is so relatable. He has the same fears as a lot of other people and isn’t afraid to admit it.
14. His Grandfather Was a Bond Villain
Johnson seemed to have been destined for stardom. He started out wrestling and was extremely successful in doing so, he then decided to try his luck as an actor, which we all know he’s an amazing actor as well. What you may not know is that Johnson’s grandfather, Peter Maivia, was also a successful wrestler. I guess that’s where The Rock learned all of his moves. What’s even more interesting is, not only was his grandfather a wrestler, he also acted as well. He appeared in the film You Only Live Twice, as a Bond villain, which lead Johnson to say he wished he could play a Bond villain as well.
13. Johnson’s Likeness Has Been Turned into a Wax Model
Have you ever thought what you would look like as a wax model? Well, Johnson doesn’t have to wonder, since he has one. You know you’ve made it big time when you’re turned into a wax statue. Johnson has won so many WWE Championships and starred in many high-grossing movies, that the folks at the famous Madame Tussaud’s museum decided to turn Johnson into a replica waxed model in 2002. I mean, most would want to see Johnson in any way, right?
12. Wrestling is a Family Business
Wrestling is something that The Rock was born to do. It is definitely in his blood. Did you know that his father Rocky Johnson, was also a professional wrestler, as well as his grandfather Peter Maivia? This makes The Rock not only a third-generation wrestler, but also the WWF’s first third-generation wrestler. Rocky Johnson, his father, is famous for becoming the first African American to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in 1983. To top it off, The Rock has other family members, including several cousins and uncles who wrestled professionally.
11. The First Athlete To Host SNL More Than Once
Johnson has made several guest appearances on Saturday Night Live. What’s notable is that his first SNL stint in 2000 was how he transitioned into making films. He began receiving Hollywood studio offers after his first appearance on SNL. Studio producers saw a comedic side to Johnson, who seemed to do anything–sing, dance, poke fun of himself–to make people laugh. As a guest on another episode of SNL, Johnson became famous for his popular character, “The Rock Obama,” a spoof of both President Obama and The Hulk. On top of that, he was the first athlete to host SNL more than once. SNL often has sports figures on their show, but Johnson was the only one who was asked back.
10. Johnson’s Catchphrase Landed In The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary
While at his WWE peak, it seemed that everything The Rock said became instant catchphrases. The Rock’s famous word “smackdown” was so popular that it was added to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, making it an official word.
Johnson’s other catchphrases took off, too. Here are a few:
“It Doesn’t Matter.”
“Just Bring It.”
#BootsToAsses (Johnson’s Twitter presence is astounding. The hashtag that Johnson started above once trended worldwide).
9. Johnson Earned The Highest Paycheck for an Actor’s First Leading Role
Despite having no prior acting experience in movies, The Rock made an easy transition from the WWE to big-budget Hollywood action films. His role in The Scorpion King earned him the highest paycheck ever for an actor’s first leading role, taking in $5.5 million. We’re assuming some of the money The Rock earned went to acting classes, given his stiff, subpar acting that many notable movie reviewers and movie goers noted. Despite this, and after the success of The Scorpion King, as well as his first film, The Mummy Returns, The Rock kept getting lucrative movie roles. He even landed in The Guinness Book of World Records because of how much he made for starring in The Scorpion King.
8. Everything Johnson Touches Turns Into Gold
Just in case you didn’t know, Johnson was one of the highest grossing actors in 2013. His movies brought in over $1.3 billion at the box office worldwide. Johnson “carried” himself in each starring role. He can also be collaborative, surrounding himself with Vin Diesel and other stars in the Fast and Furious franchise. The only movie that flopped famously was Johnson’s starring role in Tooth Fairy, where he showed off his comedic side. Johnson is also a best-selling author. His 2000 autobiography The Rock Says…. explored his family’s wrestling legacy, as well as his struggle and rise in professional wrestling. Everything Johnson does puts him at the top, as the book debuted at No., 1 on ‘The New York Times Best Seller’ list, and stayed on the list for months. This is in addition to the star having 17 Championship reigns in WWE and the World Wrestling Federation.
7. The Rock Owns the Rights to “The Rock”
The Rock now owns the rights to his name “The Rock,” as well as all logos and phrases associated with the character. The Rock bought back the rights to “The Rock’s” brand name from its previous holder, WWE, Inc. So just in case you want to start a pizza business called “The Rock,” or name an institution “The Rock”, you’ll have to answer first to The Rock himself.
These days, Johnson prefers not to use “The Rock,” given that he’s now a bona-fide action star. He told Entertainment Magazine in 2006, “I no longer am a wrestler, I am now pursuing a future as an actor and someday as a director. I am not the Rock. I am Dwayne Johnson.”
6. The Rock is Samoan
The Rock has an exotic look, some think he’s African American and Caucasian, while others may think he’s African American and Spanish. The Rock, seems to appear to fans that’s he’s of black descent while others claim he’s definitely white. In fact, The Rock is half African American and half Samoan. His father is African American while his mother is of Samoan heritage. At the end of the day, whatever he is he’s gorgeous and extremely talented, and to top it off he has an amazing personality to go along with his looks. Let’s face it, you can’t beat that!
5. “The Rock” Could’ve Been Known as “The Flex”
The Rock wasn’t always known as “The Rock” when he first started wrestling. Johnson actually started his wrestling career by using the name “Flex Savanna.” The moniker didn’t stick, though, so Johnson changed his name, making his WWF debut as “Rocky Maiva”, which is a combination of his father and grandfather’s ring names. But that name didn’t stick either, and Johnson renamed himself again, calling himself “The Rock,” in 1997. That name, of course, stuck and Johnson abandoned his previous names for good. It’s kind of hard to picture his name being anything else but “The Rock.”
4. He Has Bouts of Depression
In public life, Johnson is often comedic and vibrant, a big fuzzy bear. So it’s surprising to know that he struggled with depression during the course of his adult life. After a shoulder injury while playing college football, Johnson fell into depression. After being cut from the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampede, Johnson also fell into depression. After his 2008 divorce from his childhood sweetheart, Johnson fell into depression again. It was his father who helped him rise above it. He trained Johnson vigorously and helped him get over his depression. Johnson doesn’t talk much about his depression, but the fact that he experienced it on many occasions makes him more human, just like the rest of us. It’s nice to hear someone so famous talk openly about his mood disorder. Depression is a disease, and if Johnson can overcome it, it seems like others also can.
3. His Cousin is His Stunt Double
Tanoai Reed, Johnson’s cousin, has been Johnson’s stunt double in his action-packed movies for over 13 years. The two starred in over a dozen movies together. It works because Reed looks almost like Johnson and is often asked for autographs when fans think he’s Johnson. The two even wore the same number–74–as football players. Reed’s body type is also the same as Johnson’s, but when Johnson landed the role of Hercules, Reed had to go to the gym and bulk up to keep in shape with Johnson’s enormous, muscular body. In other roles, the pair worked really well because they have the same body type.
2. Johnson Went to College, Unlike Other Wrestlers and Hollywood Stars
Johnson’s not just some brainless jock like some movie stars out there who decide to terminate their education after graduating from high school. Johnson went to the University of Miami, and while he played defensive tackle and helped Miami win a Championship in 1991, he also graduated and received a degree in Criminology. We’re wondering why Johnson hasn’t starred in TV shows like CSI with that degree, especially since Johnson once said he would’ve liked to work for the FBI. I am sure if the opportunity arises he will be all over it. We can totally see Johnson as an FBI.
1. Johnny Depp is Linked to Johnson in Two Surprising Ways
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton’s update of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, had Johnny Depp in the lead role as Willy Wonka. What’s surprising is that Dwayne Johnson was director Burton’s second choice for the role of Wonka. This seems like an odd choice as the Wonka we know doesn’t look like a bodyguard who packs 275 pounds of pure muscle. It would look as if Johnson took a wrong turn and ended up in a world of dancing and singing Oompa-Loompas.
Johnson is also linked to Depp in another way. Johnson was nominated for the Favorite Movie Actor award at the 2008 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for his role in The Game Plan. He lost out to Johnny Depp, who won for his role in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.