Imagine a man, a man who towers over you at a height of six foot five. He is 260 pounds of pure muscle, with only 10% body fat, and arms that are quite literally the size of your thighs. His head is completely shaven, and he has menacing eyes that seem to beg for confrontation. This guy must either be a professional athlete or the bouncer at some shady club. Regardless, there’s no way that you would approach him, much less talk to him, without shaking a bit. Now, what if I told you that this same guy played a tooth fairy looking for redemption in a movie about the importance of childhood and family? That’s right, I’m talking about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Dwayne Johnson is not technically the first of his kind. There have been other bald, muscular, aggressive-looking people in leading roles of popular films; prime examples include Jason Statham and Vin Diesel. Interestingly, these three together star in the “Fast and Furious” series, and Statham and Johnson are now getting their own spinoff buddy-action-comedy film, “Hobbs and Shaw”. However, Johnson has transcended the level of mere leading roles as he is one of the top paid actors in the world, collecting around $25 million for every role he plays, with multi-million dollar endorsements from both Under Armour and Ford. The money Dwayne Johnson has brought into the industry far outweighs any salary, with his films grossing over $10.5 billion dollars worldwide. As a result, The Rock’s net worth is almost $220 million.This means Dwayne Johnson is worth almost as much as Mariah Carey. Sheesh.
Johnson did not actually start acting until later in his career, after a set of intense life experiences. He played football in high school, and continued playing in college, until he was sidelined by injuries and forced to give up on his dreams of the NFL. Johnson has since gone on record stating that this was the absolute worst time of his life. While it was a low point, it was ultimately the turning point in his career as well.
After realizing that football was not working, he took his talents to the WWE to become a pro wrestler, following in the footsteps of his family –he actually debuted as “Rocky Maivia”, a combination of the names of his father and grandfather. His persona “The Rock” was one he created later on, and his wrestling career from beginning to end was filled with accomplishments and success. It was towards the end of this time that producers started taking notice of his acting ability as the “villain” in his matches, culminating in an appearance on SNL that would be the springboard for Johnson’s career as an actor.
His first appearance in a film was “The Mummy Returns”(2001) as the Scorpion King. While he only had two lines in the entirety of the movie, it was an important moment for Johnson, who was looking to transition to the next stage of his career. After some more minor roles, as well as leading roles in small-scale comedy and action films, he officially arrived on the scene with his introduction to the “Fast and Furious” series in its fifth installment. Since then, his rise to the top truly has been just as fast and just as furious, with the peak of his career coming with his role in “Moana” as a singing demi-god. (Just kidding.)
“So, when he appeared in the “Fast and Furious” series as Agent Hobbes, audiences wholeheartedly accepted him as the hero of his story”
His career has not been limited to just the big screen either. Johnson is also an entrepreneur, starting his own company called “Seven Bucks Productions”, that produces his highly-acclaimed HBO TV show “Ballers”, and has held minor producing roles in his own movies. And this year, he is going to be producing and selling his own brand of “Teremana Tequila”.
“The money Dwayne Johnson has brought into the industry far outweighs any salary, with his films grossing over $10.5 billion dollars worldwide.“
So, how do we explain the Rock’s success? Some critics say that his face is actually perfect for family films, expressing a friendly attitude and aura, only to be complemented by his endearing smile and comforting voice. Others say that it is his superhuman body, born out of a god-like routine consisting of a daily intake of 4,000 calories and 4 hours of sleep on average. The biggest reason, however, is the public perception of his story. In his days as “the people’s champion” on WWE, he was the villain of the institution, which inadvertently had audiences rooting for him. Then, when people started to see his funny side, they warmed up to him and his charming personality. So, when he appeared in the “Fast and Furious” series as Agent Hobbes, audiences wholeheartedly accepted him as the hero of his story; it brought them over to his side and opened the way for his future success.
With the film “Black Adam” starting production now, Johnson is getting ready for his first role as an actual superhero.The genre has swept box offices with the introduction of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and while it is unclear how Johnson will fare amongst the competition, his track record would indicate that he is going to Rock your world, once again.