Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, redefines what it means to be a renaissance person with his multifaceted career positions as an actor, a producer, businessman, former professional wrestler, and a newly minted rapper.
Before dipping his toes into acting, Johnson was known for his successful wrestling career. He wrestled for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) for eight years and was regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
While the practice of going into acting as a wrestler is not one unheard of in the WWE, Johnson’s acting career can indeed be said to be the most successful.
This California-born wrestler turned actor has starred in no less than 56 movies from the start of his acting career to date.
Why Dwayne Johnson Fully Went Into Acting
Johnson’s career is described as acting when searched online, but he was quite a successful wrestler before then. He debuted in 1997, after which he rose to become the face of WWE in 2001.
Even with his successful wrestling career, his ambition pushed him towards expanding his career and brand’s sphere by going into acting.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnson said to Collider, “I always knew I wanted to do film, and not only did I want to do film, I wanted to make an impact. And not only did I want to make an impact, but I wanted to make a long-term impact.”
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And what an impact he made! According to Forbes, he bagged $124 million pretax, the highest ever acting earning report. Johnson showed that he was much more than just a successful actor when he charged separately for promoting his films to his millions of online followers and made millions out of it.
WWE & Hollywood Made Dwayne Johnson Insecure
In his YouTube interview with Vanity Fair, Johnson opened up about how his first foray into Hollywood wasn’t as smooth as it seemed.
After answering the initially lighthearted questions, the interview got more serious, and the “Black Adam” actor was asked about occasions where he has felt less than secure concerning his body. He opened up by recounting two occasions where he has felt uncomfortable in his skin.
“When I first started as a professional wrestler, I was told back then that you can’t smile enough, you’ve got to be happy every time you go out there, you have to be so joyous at the opportunity that you have. I wasn’t reacting authentically, and I was being a very buttoned-down, saccharine version of who I actually was at that time in the world of professional wrestling,” Johnson divulged.
The other time was when he had just transitioned to acting, and he was met with criticism concerning his weight, eating habits, gym time, and easy reference to the stage name, The Rock.
Dwayne Johnson & How He Handled Body Criticism
Furthermore, in his VF interview, he went on to say, “Well, you buy into that s–t, as I did, until – one of two things was going to happen,” he said. “You’re either going to continue to go down that road and that path, and you’re going to be miserable.
… And eventually, your career is probably going to fizzle out, and it’s not going to have any sense of longevity or quality to it. Or, the other thing that’s going to happen, you’re going to say ‘f**k this s–t, I’m gonna be me, and we’re going to see what happens.'”
“And I think in that authenticity moment, that moment of clarity, a funny thing happened in the world of professional wrestling and a funny thing happened in the world of Hollywood, both industries conformed to my authenticity and allowed me to be me, and that’s when things changed.”
Dwayne Johnson Continued To Explore His Acting Career
While Johnson conformed to these demands at first, he found himself thoroughly dissatisfied with the results.
He soon realized that just being himself was more than enough when it came to achieving the success he longed for, for a long time.
According to the “Jungle Cruise” actor, his desire for a more extensive and more impactful career in acting was achieved because he stayed true to himself and was accorded an even larger audience than his previous wrestling career and dabbles in acting gave him.
The success of his approach is apparent in his quite flourishing acting career. He has also maintained a very active social media life, owns a clothing line in Under Armour, and has produced numerous shows.
It’s safe to say that The Rock is living his dream!