Quite possibly the biggest movie star in the world today, you could argue for other people like Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., or Jackie Chan but it is abundantly clear that The Rock is a huge deal. After all, since 2010 alone, he has appeared in 16 films that earned more than $100 million at the worldwide box office, with 2 of them bringing in more than $1 billion. On top of that, he also made several returns to the WWE and made a small fortune for the company as a result.
Clearly, comfortable with spending his life in the spotlight, not only does Dwayne Johnson garnerattention wherever he goes, but he is pretty open with his life too. Despite that, there are still some facts about him that the vast majority of people have no idea about. With that in mind, it is time to look at 20 things about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that may surprise his fans.
In order for a piece of information to be considered for this list, it first and foremost needs to relate to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in one way or another. Next, it has to seem like at least a sizeable percentage of his fans would have no idea about it. That said, fans who’ve have followed his career since he first rose to fame as a professional wrestler are more likely to be aware of a few of the entries included here. Finally, especially interesting information about some of his loved ones also was in the running for inclusion on this list.
20 He Eats 7 Meals a Day
If you know anything at all about the life and career of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you should be aware that he fully commits to everything he does. After all, even a cursory look at his social media reveals that he regularly wakes up at 4 in the morning and proceeds to have one of the most intense workouts known to man. While all of that dedication in the gym is a key factor in his ability to be so incredibly muscular, he also has to provide his body with a huge amount of fuel. Able to do this because he eats 7 meals a day, the feasts he has on cheat days are mind blowing.
19 He Introduced the First Ever XFL Game
The kind of quest that only someone as crazy as Vince McMahon would take on, when he and his allies created the XFL in an attempt to dethrone the NFL it seemed like an impossible task. Of course, that perception turned out to be very accurate since the league closed up shop after a single season that by and large received pathetic ratings. However, some people may have forgotten it but the XFL’s first game was a huge hit and for the briefest of moments it seemed like McMahon and company had hit gold. By far the most watched XFL game to date, since McMahon has announced a 2020 comeback for the league, it was introduced by none other than The Rock.
18 He Has an Interesting Degree
One of the biggest action stars in the world today, given that and his massive size it should come as no surprise that Dwayne Johnson has played a law enforcement agent several times in the past. In fact, the list of films in which his character falls into that category includes the likes of the Fast and Furious series, Walking Tall, The Other Guys, and Get Smart. Still, in all of those films it is abundantly clear that he is just playing a character but in real life, he was set up to aide in the capture of those that flaunt the law. That is because he received a degree in criminology from Miami University.
17 He is Good Friends With Arnold Schwarzenegger
Speaking of the fact that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is considered the biggest movie star in the world by a lot of people, it is time to look at his relationship with a previous holder of that crown. Two men with an awful lot in common, Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Rock both became famous for something else before going to the next level as actors. For that reason, Arnold is uniquely positioned to understand the pressure The Rock is under and this has allowed the two to become close friends. In fact, Arnold even flew himself to the set of The Rundown in order to cameo in a film starring his pal and pass the torch to him on screen.
16 He got in trouble a lot when he was young
Fiercely loyal to his family and someone that never gives up, when he was young Dwayne Johnson took to crime when things got desperate. Only 14 when his family was evicted from a small apartment, Johnson opted to join a theft ring in an attempt to fix things for those he loved. Choosing to target the kind of places that attracted high-end tourists and taking things that did not belong to him, clearly, he was not meant to be a pickpocket because he got caught over and over. Arrested 9 times before he turned 17, thankfully he walked away from his life of crime and became a huge success story.
15 His First acting Job Involved Portraying Someone Close to his Heart
An extremely popular wrestler when he first became an actor, The Rock managed to eclipse that as a movie star and also made it easier for other wrestlers to follow his example. However, when it came time for Dwayne to make his acting debut, he received a tiny role from a single episode of That '70s Show. Taking on a role that wasn’t exactly a huge stretch for him either, he was chosen to play a professional wrestler that was shown both in the ring and talking to the Foremans in his locker room. Far more interesting than that, however, he was cast as a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler from the 1970s that also happens to be Dwayne’s real-life father, Rocky Johnson.
14 He Wrestled in an Empty Arena During the Super Bowl
Proof-positive of how gutsy the WWE was during the Attitude Era, the company was so popular at the time that they made a concerted effort to take a bite out of the Super Bowl’s viewership. Choosing to counter program the Super Bowl’s Halftime Show, the WWE aired a single match timed to end before players hit the field again. A special edition of their regular weekend programming, they rechristened their show Halftime Heat and had The Rock and Mankind, 2 wrestlers that were embroiled in an intense feud at the time, wrestle. Far from your typical match, however, the 2 men competed in an empty arena and took their bout all over the place including backstage, into the aisles, and pretty much everywhere else.
13 He and His Ex-Wife Are Still Very Close
Married from 1997 until 2007, by the time Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia divorced, he had already become a pretty huge star. As a result, they obviously were doing well financially and when a Hollywood couple has that kind of cash to divide things tend to get tense quickly. However, as far as the rest of the world can tell, they managed to avoid any of the personal drama that could have made them a mainstay of the tabloids. Additionally, they have maintained a professional relationship ever since as co-founders of a hugely successful production company that they run together to this day. On top of that, she has become close to his longtime girlfriend Lauren Hashian.
12 He Officiated a Wedding
Seemingly someone that appreciates his fans, unlike many other stars it doesn’t seem self-serving when Dwayne Johnson embraces one of his followers. Also known for his attention to detail, he comes across as the kind of dude that would remember the names of many of the reporters he has dealt with over the years. A task that would have been much easier when it comes to someone that went nuts and told Dwayne that he is his biggest fan, Nick Mundy did just that when they first met during a press junket. Continuing to interact time and time again over the following years, when it came time for Mundy to get married his friends threw a surprise wedding for him and had Dwayne officiate it.
11 He Performed On a Song that Charted
Someone that seems to have the Midas touch, with very few exceptions everything The Rock touches turns to gold. Of course, if you are reading this then you must know about his acting and wrestling careers and that isn’t even to say anything about all of his business successes. If all of that weren’t enough, he also performed on a song that was released in the year 2000 and came very close to the top of the UK singles chart. Much more relevant then than he is today, former Fugees member Wyclef Jean recruited The Rock to provide the hook for a song. Combining forces to create a song based around one of The Rock’s catchphrases, “It Doesn’t Matter” did quite well.
10 As a Wrestler, He Received Some Extremely Harsh Chants
So charismatic that his bosses in the WWE saw huge potential in him from the start, when The Rock debuted in the company he was packaged as the ultimate good guy. Coming to the ring with a huge smile plastered on his face, the company wanted their fans to embrace his can-do attitude. Of course, sometimes wrestling fans do not react the way the WWE hopes and to say the rejected this early persona taken on by Dwayne Johnson is a huge understatement. Known as Rocky Maivia at the time, audiences went a lot further than simply booing him since they began chanting some awful things whenever he came to the ring.
9 He is a Canadian Citizen
Intensely proud of his Samoan heritage, Dwayne Johnson sports a massive tattoo that is a tribute to his background and is more than happy to speak about the importance of his people. Equally open about his father’s side of the family, when it comes to his dad most people are aware that he is African American but they may not know he was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. Part Canadian as a result, despite that, The Rock spent most of his life solely as an American citizen. However, in 2009, the Canadian government altered their laws and in doing so granted citizenship to first generation children of Canadians that were born abroad.
8 He is a New York Times Bestselling Author….Kind Of
One of the men perched at the top of the WWE during its hottest period ever, during the height of the Attitude Era Steve Austin and The Rock were absolutely on fire. In fact, in the year 2000, The Rock was invited to America’s two main political party’s National Conventions and he gave a speech at the RNC. Far from the only way he was extending his brand at the time, he also was the topic of an autobiography that was released as a part of a book deal the WWE had. Titled “The Rock Says,” it debuted on the New York Times' bestsellers list and stayed there for weeks. That said, it was confirmed that a ghost writer extensively helped him with the book.
7 He Isn’t actually Related To Everyone People Think
A company that is full of second-generation wrestlers, people like Randy Orton, Natalya, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Bray Wyatt, and Charlotte Flair all had parents that worked for the WWE. Of course, you may have noticed that we didn’t include any members of the Anoa'I family in that list and that is because there are so many of them. Considered a member of that clan most of the time, in actuality, The Rock isn’t genetically related to them. Instead, his grandfather was considered a “blood brother” to an older generation of the Anoa'I family. As a result, Dwayne sees people like Roman Reigns, Rikishi, The Usos, Umaga and others family but on a genetic level that isn’t the case. That said, Nia Jax legitimately is Dwayne's first cousin.
6 Some People Call Him Dewey as an Adult
One of the most fun parts of having a child in your life, coming up with nicknames for them is bound to put a smile on your face. Oftentimes worn as a badge of honor by that child, even if that is the case, most distance themselves from their nicknames once they grow up. In a few very rare cases, The Rock’s longstanding connection to the wrestling business has resulted in some people calling him by his childhood nickname, Dewey, after he’s already grown up. For instance, even when Dwayne had already become a WWE performer he was called Dewey by WWE producer and Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. This is because Patterson first met Johnson when the latter was still a kid.
5 He's looking different
Arguably the biggest point of pressure that many celebrities feel, the need to stay looking as good as possible can feel omnipresent when you constantly live in the spotlight. As a result, many stars have opted to get some beauty mods done at various times in their life. Unfortunately, in certain circles, that kind of modification has been heavily stigmatized so stars go out of their way to deny procedures they actually have undertaken. On the other hand, The Rock has been open about the fact that he underwent gynecomastia, or male reduction, in 2005. Saying he did so solely for aesthetic purposes, it was also somewhat obvious that something happened since he briefly began wrestling with a shirt on at the time.
4 His Longtime Girlfriend Was A “Reality” TV Star
Earlier on this list, we looked at The Rock’s relationship with his ex-wife and now it is time to cast our gaze at his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. Someone that has quite a bit in common with Dwayne, she too is the child of a former star, Boston drummer Sib Hashian, and she also sought her own time in the spotlight. In fact, she was a contestant on a 2005 “reality” show called R U the Girl in which she and several others competed to become a member of the girl group TLC. Ultimately a series that went nowhere since the winner of the show only performed a single song with the group, Lauren can still brag about making it to the finals of a competition show.
3 The Rock Isn’t Always the First Choice
Such a huge star today that it seems hard to fathom that he ever was the second choice for a role, early on in his career Dwayne Johnson might have been much further down a list than that. In an amusing twist of fate, however, a role that was created with another person in mind started a meteoric rise that pushed him to the top of almost every list. Cast as Luke Hobbs in the Fast and Furious series, he is set to play that character in his fifth film in the series. Despite that, during the writing process Hobbs was created with Tommy Lee Jones in mind and while that is hard to imagine, if you have seen The Fugitive it makes a lot more sense.
2 He Almost Played Willy Wonka
A film that many people had very high hopes for, 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had an awful lot of potential. Helmed by the visionary director Tim Burton and starring his longtime collaborator Johnny Depp, together those two had created several classic characters. However, the movie has not gone down as the classic many people hoped for. With that in mind, it is interesting to think about how things could have turned out differently, especially if Burton’s second choice to play Willy Wonka, Dwayne Johnson, played the role. After all, if someone as physically intimidating as The Rock portrayed that character it may have felt much more menacing.
1 His Original Wrestling Name Was Lame
An industry that is known for its pomp and circumstance, when wrestling is at its best every aspect of the show has been carefully crafted in the service of telling a story. For instance, in almost every case, the wrestlers that make it to the top of the business have cool sounding names like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, or Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Unfortunately, there also are some lower level WWE performers with awful names including Jimmy Wang Yang, Meat, Bastion Booger, or Puke. Known as The Rock throughout most of his career, Dwayne Johnson belonged among the former group but if he went by his original wrestling name, Flex Kavana, he may have ended up in the latter one.