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From his embarrassing childhood nickname lớn the story behind his tattoos, here are some facts about the wrestler turned Hollywood star.
Few people have sầu had as rock-solid of a career in so many realms as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In the wrestling world, he was dubbed "The Great One" & "The People’s Champion" and in the film world, his movies have sầu brought in at least $10 billion worldwide.
On top of that, his 2000 autoaviarus-21.com The Rock Says… was No. 1 on The Thủ đô New York Times bestseller các mục và his Project Roông xã sneaker with Under Armour sold out in less than 24 hours. All of this has helped him top Forbes’ menu of highest-paid actors two years in a row, with an estimate of $87.5 million in 20trăng tròn.
It’s no wonder the 6-foot-4, 277 pound Johnson himself says he’s had a “wildly Forrest Gump-ian life." Here are 10 facts you may not know about the guy who has been called the "Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment":
His nickname as a kid was 'Dewey'
Before he was branded with the tough guy persona and fittingly svào wrestling name of “The Roông xã,” Johnson had a very different kind nickname growing up. When he was about six months old, he was with his godparents và his mom asked if his diaper was wet. His godmother responded, “No. He’s just a little dewy,” he recalled at the Television Critics Association virtual conference in 2021.
While he was too young lớn know better at the time, the moniker stuck. “For years, when my parents would come around in front of my girlfriends or friends or anyone,
He wanted lớn become a CIA agent
Johnson had his eyes on becoming a real-life crime-buster, hoping to lớn work for the Central Intelligence Agency — but a legal hurdle got in the way. “My criminal justice professor & advisor (Dr. Paul Cromwell) convinced me that the best operative sầu I could become for the agency is one that also had a law degree,” Johnson posted on Instagram in 2018.
That gave sầu hyên ổn a reality kiểm tra. “I thought that’s a great idea, until I realized no respectable law school would ever let me in with my pile of steaming s**t grades,” he wrote. “End of story.” But he did graduate from the University of Miamày with a bachelor of general studies in criminology & physiology.
He was on track lớn become a pro football player
After a high school teacher encouraged hyên ổn lớn try playing football, he found that he had a knachồng on the field, quickly excelling and earning a full scholarship lớn the top football college, University of Miamày. The coach told him that he had a good shot at making it lớn the NFL, GQ reported.
“So in my head, that was it. I've sầu got my ticket,” he told the magazine. “I get goosebumps now just thinking about it. I'll make it, make money, my parents can move sầu out of their apartment. This is it.” But things didn’t quite go that way. After suffering injuries, he says, “I struggled & I got depressed.” He played for the Calgary Stampeders but was cut from the team two months later.
Dwayne Johnson of the University of Miami Hurricanes runs upfield lớn make the stop at the Orange Bowl in Miamày, Floridomain authority, 1992
Photo: Miami/Collegiate Images via Getty Images
At his low point, he only had $7 in his wallet
After being cut from the football team in 1995, he landed in Miami và called his dad in Tampa lớn pichồng hyên up. While they were on Interstate-75, Johnson wondered how much he had khổng lồ his name. “Pulled out my wallet, và yeah, I had a five, a one, và some change. I remember thinking... All I have is seven bucks. At that time I wanted so much more,” he told Esquire.
He compared himself to Warren Sapp who had beat hlặng out of his position in Miami a few years prior và was freshly drafted for a million dollars. “It was like the success I wanted so badly & worked so hard for years was happening all around me to everyone else but me,” he said. “And I'll never forget that. The term ‘seven bucks’ has a lot of meaning.” He later called his production company Seven Bucks Production.
Both his dad & grandfather were wrestlers
Johnson became the first third-generation wrestler in the WWE, a legacy that started with his grandfather, American Samoa-born “High Chief” Peter Maivia, in the 1960s. His dad, Nova Scotia-born Rocky Johnson, known as “Soul Man,” then learned from Maivia before marrying his daughter.
When Rocky retired in 1991, he started training his son — and when the younger Johnson made his WWE debut in 1996, his dad would sometimes be seen “leaping inkhổng lồ the ring and defending his son when he looked khổng lồ be in trouble,” The Thành Phố New York Times wrote. Johnson dedicated his Hollywood Critics Association’s Trailblazer Award in 2021 to lớn his father, saying, “As complicated as our relationship was... he was a real trailblazer because what trailblazers vày is they change people's behavior. And that's what he did. And he did everything he could lớn send people trang chủ happy."
READ MORE: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson và His Impressive sầu Wrestling Family Tree
He made a 10- khổng lồ 12-year plan to become the top guy in Hollywood
In a blink, it seemed like Johnson was suddenly on top of both the wrestling and movie industries, but in actuality, it was part of a long calculated plan. “I started to quietly retire from professional wrestling when I was 29,” he said in an Instagram video in 20trăng tròn. “I had the most incredible run as a pro wrestler.” Every night he was out there wrestling, his goal was lớn entertain — not necessarily to win — so it made perfect sense, but he didn’t want lớn just be a flash in the pan.
“I wanted lớn have sầu a real long-lasting career that had weight, that had value,” he explained. So he studied the craft, working with acting coaches, và set out a 10- lớn 12-year plan. “I wanted lớn be the number one man in the world of Hollywood in terms of box office draw.”
He was well aware wrestling success didn’t mean anything on screen. “I was really nervous,” he said, making his first major role in The Scorpion King in 2002. Along the way, he had lớn make bold choices & get rid of people that weren’t on the same page. “I made the tough decisions and the most important of all, was deciding I was done trying lớn be someone I’m not to lớn conform khổng lồ Hollywood. Instead, I decided khổng lồ be my own man và Hollywood would eventually consize lớn me.”
The tattoo on his baông xã, chest & left arm took 60 hours
In 2003, Johnson took a trip lớn Hawaii khổng lồ get his family heritage inked on his toàn thân by a Tahitian tattoo artist Po’oini Yrondi, Before getting started, Johnson & Yrondi chatted for hours và said a prayer.
The tattoo itself took 60 hours — divided inlớn three đôi mươi hour sessions — & the elaborate design represents "all the things that are important to lớn me, that I love & that I’m passionate about," he said. Aý muốn the symbolism are coconut leaves representing a Samoan chief-warrior, the sun for good fortune, two eyes of ancestors looking over hlặng & a tortoise shell lớn fend off evil spirits. Also part of the design is a symbol showing three people in one, to show the bond between hyên ổn, his then-wife và daughter. (He now has two more daughters.)
He held a Guinness World Record for taking selfies
Talk about multitasking! While at the London premiere of his film San Andreas in năm ngoái, Johnson managed to lớn accomplish another feat — setting the Guinness World Record title for most selfies taken in three minutes, which he did with 105 fans.
Officials were on hand to lớn make sure that every shot included the full face & nechồng of the subjects and were in focus (a few were disqualified). But in the end, he earned the title và posted on Instagram. “World premiere of San Andreas and rewriting the record books all in one night. #MicDropBoom #NewSelfieKing.” (The record was later broken in 2016 by Donnie Wahlberg & again in 2018 by a man named James Smith.)
Dwayne Johnson attends a ceremony honoring hlặng with the 2,624th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 13, 2017, in Hollywood, California
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Tim Burton considered hyên for the role of Willy Wonka
Before Johnny Depp donned the iconic top hat to play Willy Wonka in the 2005 remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, director Tim Burton considered Johnson. “I rethành viên thinking, ‘Holy s**t, I’m in,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “But that was many years ago when I was just starting out in Hollywood with no foundation of global box office strength or any real acting experience to even pull it off.”
He added that Depp was “the biggest star in the world” at the time so “the fact that Tyên even considered me (albeit I’m sure he considered for all of seven seconds) sure meant a helluva lot khổng lồ me as I was just breaking into lớn the business with no idea what the future had in store.” He shared that memory in the summer of 20trăng tròn while introducing his kids khổng lồ the original 1971 Willy Wonka và the Chocolate Factory film. “They loved it & now fully expect me lớn deliver a room full of chocolate và candy,” he said.
As of the sliding doors moment, he added: “I’ll always raise a glass khổng lồ the dreams that don’t come true because sometimes they’re the best thing that never happened.”
He’s considered running for president
Having checked off so many fields, could Johnson eventually move sầu into the world of politics? Maybe. It’s no accident that every episode of Young Rock starts & ends with Johnson playing himself being interviewed by a journadanh mục, played by Randall Park, as he’s running for president in 2032. In fact, bachồng in 2017, he said, “I would consider a presidential run in the future if that's what the people wanted. Truly I mean that, and I'm not flippant in any way with my answer.”
That wasn’t the only time he expressed that pull khổng lồ the Nhà Trắng. “I can't deny that the thought of being governor, the thought of being president, is alluring,” he told GQ in năm 2016. “And beyond that, it would be an opportunity to lớn make a real impact on people's lives on a global scale. But there are a lot of other things I want to lớn vì chưng first.”
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