EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! HOLLYWOOD’S HIGHEST PAID ACTOR ON THE BIG SCREEN: It’s an ETERNAL TRAUMA for me that my MOM called me STINKY in front of girls
What Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Steven Seagal were to audiences of the 1980s and 1990s is now Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock. The ultimate action hero who combines the Terminator, Rambo, Rocky, and all the other “tough guys” into one. On the threshold of his sixth decade, with a career spanning two decades and a few more years, he has almost every major action genre title under his belt.
He was greeted with a cult role as the Scorpion King at the outset of his acting career in the “Mummy” film series, followed by hits such as “Fast and Furious,” “Hercules,” “Baywatch,” “Jumanji,” “Skyscraper,” and up to his most recent foray into the world of comic book heroes with the blockbuster “Black Adam,” for which he revealed in an exclusive interview for TV Screen that he had been preparing for 15 years.
Nevertheless, despite his extensive film career and achievements that have earned more than 13 billion, or 13 thousand billions US dollars worldwide, the famous Rock had already achieved megastar status thanks to his wrestling career, during which he earned the nickname Stone. We are currently watching the second season of his biographical series “Young Rock” on FOX channel on Tuesdays at 10pm. Wanting to be involved in the show in every way possible, he also took part in the selection of actors who play his character at different stages of his life.
How would you define the “Young Rock” series?
To describe the series “Young Rock”, it is done as a sitcom but it is a serious generational story about me, my coming of age from a kid to a teenager, a young man in love with football and fighting, and then to who I am today. It’s a story about my family and how important it is to have support along the way. I’m really proud of it.
Is she partly a story about decades of struggle that hasn’t yet exhausted you?
Fighting makes me alive. Last year I turned 50 and I celebrated that moment with the role of Black Adam. It seems to me that it was the greatest challenge and it came for a reason just at the time of my big jubilee. I am a total professional at work. There were many doubts whether I would be able to surpass myself physically and become even bigger than Sten, because it took a lot of extra mass to fulfill the costume of this antihero.
Few people know that the role of Black Adam has been waiting for you for 15 years?
– It had been an idea for so long, and for me it was a bold step, because I officially for the first time stepped into the world of comic book heroes with it. That is why I wanted to do everything right.
What was the biggest challenge for you to transform from Stone to Black Adam?
– Da kad dostignem željenu fizičku formu, uspem i da je održim. Jer ovde nije reč o fotografiji, već o filmu, a film se snima mesecima. Nije dovoljno samo da postanem Crni Adam, već sam taj izgled, koji sam sticao mesecima uz brutalne treninge, morao i da održim barem godinu dana, koliko je trajalo snimanje filma. To me je u profesionalnom smislu dovelo na sasvim novi nivo razmišljanja, ali posle gotovo četiri decenije bavljenja sportom i treninzima još jednom uverilo u to da je sve moguće.
At the same time as this cinematic hit, you have also filmed the first two seasons of the series “Young Rock”.
– It was just a part of the obligations. My schedule is quite spartan. In the morning from six I work on the series, but my parental obligations also take place at the same time. Together with my wife we are raising our two daughters, which is a job equally challenging as an actor. What I lack right now is a little sleep, because I rarely lie down before midnight. However, of all my roles, I like the one I have as a father the most. It’s very important to me to be a good parent and a good role model to my children. That’s why I try to always give more than the maximum. The children are always first for me.
Is it any wonder that you remembered your parents through this series?
– This series is primarily a tribute to my father. It is my way of thanking him, but also making amends for all the years when I did not have enough patience and understanding for his well-meaning advice, whose only goal was to make it easier for me to follow my dreams. Unfortunately, life teaches us that, in most cases, we have to take the harder path in order to learn all the lessons that were intended for us. I do not regret it. No matter how tough the path I had to take was, it is mine, and I am proud of every step I have taken.
Have you become a Rock from a stone?
– I owe my parents the greatest gratitude for that. Growing up, I was more and more dependent on my mother. Unfortunately, I caused her a lot of trouble as a child. That’s why I feel obligated to make up for it today with everything I do, including this series. I want the whole world to know how important my parents were in my upbringing. That’s why it’s so important to me to be a good parent to my own children. It’s one of the most responsible jobs in the world.
Does your mother still have a special place in your life?
Today she only calls me by that childhood nickname and, what’s worse, calls me Djui in front of other people. I truly hate that nickname and it has been a lifelong trauma for me. It has followed me since I was a baby. It seems to have come about when I messed up my diapers, and Djui is a slang term for, say, Stinky. And now imagine my mom calling me Djui in front of my girlfriends, friends, teachers. (laughter)
That’s just one of the stories from your childhood that found its way into the series ‘Young Rock’?
Often I am asked how I chose the details from life that would be included in the series. The truth is that I spent hours conversing with the screenwriters and evoking memories. It was like jogging through my past.
What would you now single out as the biggest challenge in life?
– Just “Young Rock” as a life journey, as it required me to pause and face all of my demons. It was an all-encompassing evaluation of who I was as a kid they called Dwayne, that young man who would become The Rock and all that I had gone through throughout my acting career. It’s never easy to look yourself in the eye and say, ‘Hey, this is you.’ I feel like this role and this life journey all the way back to my childhood came at the right time, where it was necessary to draw a line in the sand so I could move forward.