Film

The Basics with Dwayne Johnson

It would be easy to say it’s Dwayne Johnson’s world, and we’re just living in it. But it would be more accurate to state that it’s Dwayne Johnson’s world, and he just wants you to enjoy it with him. 

What hasn’t been said about this larger than life cultural icon? About his mythic origin story, how his WWE days catapulted him to such great heights; that his string of blockbusters, TV shows, reality games, sitcoms, and various brands have broken a litany of records; that everything he touches turns to gold; that even Oprah sees herself in him; that he loves tequila and pick-up trucks; that he could be president of the friggin United States someday.

What we can say is that his laugh is as big as he is, that he’s full of merriment and mischief; that he’s grounded, humble but confident, that he’s everything you hope him to be in actual real life, and that he’s truly that guy who wants to bring everybody up with him. What you see is what you get and all of the cliches you hope are true, are.

It’s all been said, so we talked to him about what makes him nostalgic, his first car and go-to home cooked meal (hint: there’s not a whole lot of cooking involved), favorite movie he’s been in, what he would tell his 13-year-old self, and why the man in the mirror is the only idol you need.

What do you read daily?

I check in daily with my five commandments I write down.

Song, band, or album that brings you back?

Bring It on Home to Me and You Send Me from Sam Cooke.

Album that is the soundtrack to your life?

Hotel California from The Eagles.

Dream car?

My pick-up truck. I drive it daily.

Your first car?

Bought my first car from a crackhead when I was 15 years old. He walked into a honky tonk bar I was hanging out in, down on broad street in Downtown Nashville. He wanted $40 bucks. That was that.

Favorite garbage food?

Any of my cheat meal Sunday dishes!

Favorite dish your mom or grandma makes?

My mom makes a delicious Samoan Chow Mein.

Dish you make when showing off for guests?

It’s called the Yummy “Yeah It’s in the Fridge Go Help Yourself” dish.

Your go-to cocktail?

Teremana on the rocks with a slice of orange. Heavenly.

Movie you have seen the most times and why?

Jurassic Park and It’s a Wonderful Life. Both classics and great life lessons.

Favorite movie you were in and why?

Man, this is a tough question. I’d have to go with Jumanji. Why? Because, beyond my wildest dreams, it struck such an emotional and fun, feel-good chord with people. Jungle Cruise is right up there too!

TV series you can binge watch more than once?

Any Ken Burns documentary series.

Favorite TV show growing up?

Good Times was my favorite as a kid.

Actor or artist that had the most influence on you?

Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, and Merle Haggard.

Favorite bar in the world?

Wherever my feet are at, and I’m breaking open a bottle of Teremana. Some of the greatest conversations I’ve ever had have been over sippin Teremana.

Place that makes you feel nostalgic?

The Hawaiian Islands.

Best sports moment of your life?

Winning the national championship for The University of Miami. And headlining five WrestleManias.

Morning person or night owl?

Both. I strategically get a lot of shit done before the babies wake up and after everyone goes to sleep.

How many hours a night of sleep do you need to function?

To function, I need five hours. To function optimally, I need 7-8.

Character you dressed up as as a kid?

I was, and still am, a huge fan of pro wrestlers from the early ’80s. Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, my old man, Rocky “Soulman” Johnson, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Kerry & Kevin Von Erich. I would dress like them, talk like them, and pretend to be them by suplexing my dogs [laughs].

Person you look up to the most?

To be honest, I don’t really look up to anyone anymore. I used to look up to my dad when I was a kid, but our relationship got complicated. There are people who I love deeply, who I respect, admire, and adore. But these days, I’ve learned the importance of reconciling and being good with the man in the mirror. The ones in the mirror are the ones who really know our shit. How accountable we really are.

In another life I would have been…

A warrior.

What advice would you want to share most with your daughters?

Be good to people. Be humble and also be good to yourself. Be tender with yourself. Life has a way of callousing up your emotions, and that’s a good thing, but always keep your positive perspective and an open mind. Make mistakes. Learn. Move on. And remember, I will always have your back.

What would you tell your 13-year-old self?

Have fun.

CHECK OUT DWAYNE

COMING SOON

As Black Adam in DC’s Black Adam

In Jake Kasdan’s Christmas movie Red One

OUT NOW

As John Hartley in Netflix’s Red Notice

BEST OF

As Hobbs in The Fast & Furious franchise

As Frank Wolff in Disney’s Jungle Cruise

As Will Sawyer in Skyscraper

As Bravestone/Spencer in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level

As Maui in Disney’s Moana