He became a household name in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) with his excellent microphone and acting skills, he has Rock bottomed his way to 17 championship titles, and he is now starring in some of the most popular Hollywood blockbusters… is The Rock (or Dwayne Johnson) becoming Hollywood’s biggest action star?
After establishing himself as a great entertainer in the wrestling ring, becoming well known for his comedic insults and one liners – “If you smell what the Rock is cooking!”, “it doesn’t matter what your name is!”, “layeth the smackdown on your candy ass” and “know your role and shut your mouth!” – it’s no surprise that Johnson ventured into Hollywood. Acting wrestlers are nothing new, they are often cast for their muscles and their established fame in quite typical roles, but there is something special about The Rock – he is a natural at performing, and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
His acting career started with a small but significant role in The Mummy Returns as The Scorpion King, which spawned a spin-off movie. He then starred in Walking Tall as a former Special Forces agent who is disgruntled to find his town is now dominated by a casino and powerful criminals; it’s a brutal film that showcases Johnson’s wrestling and fighting skills, and it features a humorous pairing between him and Johnny Knoxville. Next was Be Cool, a disappointing film which unfortunately only warrants laughs during The Rock’s hilarious portrayal of the tough, but sensitive, bodyguard Elliot alongside Vince Vaughn.
From 2005 to 2012, Dwayne Johnson starred in a number of seemingly insignificant films from Get Smart to Tooth Fairy, but 2013 appears to be his time to shine, as his face and name occupy a vast amount of the year’s film trailers. G.I Joe: Retaliation and Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain were commercial successes but critical failures, and Fast & Furious 6 is a huge box office success, and the recipient of a lot of positive reviews. The Rock is set to star in Empire State in 2013 and Hercules in 2014; while his films may not always garner critical success, they appear to be very profitable, and we suspect he will be around for a long time.