Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson relives his zero to hero grind for Under Armour
Actor Dwayne Johnson gave three movies last year, The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch and Jumaniji, apart from juggling HBO’s third season of ballers. His Seven Bucks Productions and Seven Bucks Digital Studios is also working in full swing, churning out television and film projects. Similarly, he has brand endorsements, one of them being his partnership with Under Armour. The pro-wrestler turned actor took to social media to give a glimpse of the said commercial.
For our big @underarmour commercial, they asked me if the back of my new hoodie should read “Wrestling out of Memphis” since that’s where I started my grind at 24yrs old. I said, no it should read, “Wrestling out of Hawaii” since my grind actually started when we were evicted off the island with no where to live when I was 14yrs old. I made a promise to myself that I’d do everything I could to make sure my family never got evicted again. And at 14 the only thing I knew I had control over was my effort, so I got my ass to the one place I could give that effort — the gym. I know it may seem fucked up psychologically, but every day I still train in the gym and operate my business like I’m getting evicted and my back’s up against the wall. Not ashamed of it, because it’s who I am. My DNA. You guys are gonna like this new Under Armour campaign. I’ve never won a Super Bowl or a Gold Medal. And I’m not a pro athlete. But I am the hardest worker in the room. #DNA #AlwaysWrestlingOutOfHawaii #WillFindsAWay
Last year, Johnson began his press tour for Jumanji from Hawaii which made him recollect his real grind that began at the age of 14 years. The press tour incidentally coincided with his Walk of Fame when he was bestowed with the Hollywood Star. Hence, the irony wasn’t lost. He told The Variety recalling his teenage life when he hit ‘rock’ bottom, “It’s here in Hawaii that I had a hard time staying on the right track and had a hard time staying in school and had a lot of arrests doing things I shouldn’t be doing.” In another interview to a tabloid, he said, “When I was 14 we were evicted and forced to leave the state of Hawaii. And it wound up being the greatest blessing in disguise because at that time, I was getting in a lot of trouble. At that time, I already had multiple arrests under my belt from doing a lot of things that I shouldn’t have been doing. And I’m lucky. I’m really lucky that I didn’t wind up in prison, and certainly I was on that track if I had stayed there in Hawaii.”
This zero to hero transformation did not happen by luck. It took blood, sweat and tears, quite literally, during his time in WWE wrestling. He then strategically moved on from being The Great One and The People’s Champion to becoming the Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment and businessman. He recently opened an advertisement company too.
“The ambition to grow developed the moment I stepped foot in Hollywood,” Johnson says, recalling his first film, “The Mummy Returns” in 2001, when he was 29-years-old. “I knew then I didn’t have any experience as an actor. I cut my teeth and made my bones in the crazy world of professional wrestling, which built a live-crowd acumen for me, but that doesn’t necessarily translate onto film. I knew I needed to understand the business from top to bottom, 360 degrees, and be a total sponge,” Johnson told Variety.
Thirty years later, the man is the highest paid actor with accolades paving his way and a Star added to his shoulder. Even ‘The Rock’ thinks the epitome of success that he has reached is unbelievable. His teenage self would have been like, “No f**king way.”