The former WWE eyebrow-raiser brings a pair of considerable pectorals to his role as a superstar cop in The Other Guys
So, first question: What—
I was 14 when I lost my virginity. The best 93 seconds of that woman’s life, I’ll tell you that.
Actually, we were wondering about your new movie.
Well, Sam Jackson and I play two cowboys in love on a mountain, and it’s a really special relationship. But the key is we don’t ride horses. We have sheep. Sorry, what was the question?
What was it like working on The Other Guys?
So much fun. We shut down New York City to film all these great action sequences, and I really enjoyed working with Samuel L. Jackson. He’s a great guy to be around, very entertaining, and the roles were great for us. We just got to be as entertaining as we possibly could be.
Do you get annoyed if someone calls you “the Rock”?
Yeah. I slap anyone who calls me that! No, really, I love the Rock, and I love becoming him, and, truthfully, I’ll always be the Rock. Whether it’s an attorney or a construction worker, everyone I meet, the first thing out of their mouth is, “Hey, Rock!” Little children say, “Hi, Mister Rock!” But they get a slap, too.
Speaking of little ones, why so many kiddie movies?
Good material. I’m a big family man, and I can appreciate a good family movie when it’s done well, and generally there’s a good message to those movies. I also like to work in different genres.
Do you feel like you get typecast as an athlete?
That’s how a pitch meeting goes: “You’re the greatest athlete in the world. You throw the ball and catch it! It’s amazing!” Sports has always resonated with me. A great deal of the lessons I’ve learned I was able to pull from being an athlete. I still carry them today.
You were a major football player in college. Do you miss it?
I went to the University of Miami, the best school in the country. I had great professors in college, and my immediate goal at that time was one, to graduate, and two, to play in the NFL. But, you know, oftentimes in life we go down roads we don’t necessarily plan. I began wrestling because I was cut from the CFL—the Canadian Football League.
We bet those Canuck ballers are kicking themselves now.
There were other players who were better. But that was a pivotal time for me. Three hundred bucks a week, Canadian, and it was five of us living in a two-bedroom apartment. We got our mattresses from a sex motel.
Sex motel? Weren’t you worried about disease?
Many of those guys already suffered from the Filipino clap.
And now you’re a big-time movie star and benefactor to your former university.
What a ride, right? Going from getting paid $300 Canadian, living on tuna fish, and having roommates with the Filipino clap to donating $3 million to the University of Miami and giving the commencement speech. This is getting pretty Oprah.
We’re tearing up here! What else would you have done if you hadn’t gone this route?
I studied criminology for years. What I really wanted to do was work for the Secret Service.
We smell a movie idea!
We’re developing one right now.
What else can we look forward to Rock-wise after The Other Guys?
A big action movie called Faster. I play a man avenging his brother’s death. I drive a classic ’71 Chevelle and carry one of the biggest revolvers in the world: a Super Redhawk Alaskan bear stopper with bullets I put right between the bad guy’s fucking eyes.
How did you like playing “the Rock Obama” on SNL?
There are not too many opportunities to play the president, and I wanted to make it funny. So I called up Seth Meyers, the head writer, and said, “Hey, I think it might be cool if I played Barack Obama.” He hit me with the Rock Obama, and I loved it.
Are you tight with Barack?
I’m a big fan of our president, and we actually went to rival high schools in Hawaii. He was a great athlete. So he’s got that very physical side to him, like at any time he could raise his hand and start kicking ass all over the place. I believe that often the guys who can kick a lot of ass are the ones who are most tempered and in control.
Do you have any vices?
I can’t stop myself from looking in the mirror and making my pecs bounce.
How does Dwayne Johnson pick up a lady?
I am direct and firm. I just walk right up, introduce myself, ask her what her name is, and then say, “You look beautiful, and I’m the tongue-wrestling champion of the world. Would you like a shot at the title?” And generally the deal is sealed!
And where do you call home?
I have a few of them: Florida, California, Virginia. I’ve always wanted a farm.
The Rock farms?
I’m not a farmer. I drive around on the property, obviously with no shirt on, and I do a lot of fishing. When I bought the property in Virginia, one of our real estate agents said, “You’re gonna fit in wonderfully. Sissy Spacek and John Grisham live here.”
Sounds like the makings of one kick-ass bowling team!