In the upcoming action flick Faster, due out in theaters on November 24th, Dwayne Johnson is back to his kick-butt ways and TeenHollywood was invited to the set on a soundstage in Studio City, Calif.
The film tells the story of a man, known as Driver (Johnson), who does a 10-year stint in prison with only the hunger to avenge the murder of his brother to fuel him. Now, on the day of his release, all he can think about is going after the four men responsible for his brother’s death, at any cost.
We’re seeing Dwayne on set all sweaty and scarred with gun in hand, looking very intimidating and like a man on a mission. But, this guy is really a pussy cat and, once the scene ended and he is ready to do this interview, he is genuine and charming, making it easy to see why he’s become quite the movie star.
Check out what Dwayne has to say about Faster and where he sees his career going next.
TeenHollywood: Are you happy to be doing a role where you don’t have to cover your tattoo?
Dwayne Johnson: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve done a couple movies, in the past, where it fit for the character. But, if we have to cover it, it takes about an hour or so.
TeenHollywood: A lot of people are excited about you getting into the action genre. What was it about this project that got you back into this kind of film?
Dwayne Johnson: The script spoke to me, right from the beginning. It came across my desk about a year and a half ago, maybe a little bit more. I read it, I loved it and I loved the character. Getting back into the action genre is like going back home. It’s great. I loved the script. I loved that the characters were well-written, against a simple back drop and simple storyline. It’s about, “You took something from me, and now you’re going to pay.”
TeenHollywood: Can you explain the scene we’re seeing today?
Dwayne Johnson: Prior to this scene, the second individual who I track down and kill is an older guy, who is a pedophile. I wind up killing him and, through the gun fire and all the noise that you heard, the little girl that you see today just comes out.
TeenHollywood: So, there are four people that you go after, and this was the second?
Dwayne Johnson: Yes. The next one will be a bouncer at a strip club, and the last will be an Evangelist.
TeenHollywood: What would you say your ratio is, of words spoken to bullets fired on this film?
Dwayne Johnson: Good question! Words spoken to bullets fired is 1 to 25.
TeenHollywood: Does your character have a lot of backstory in the beginning, or does it just start with you in prison?
Dwayne Johnson: It starts with me in prison, and the backstory will start to unfold, as the movie goes on. You’ll start to see it when we start doing flashbacks. You will start to understand why the Driver has become who he has become.
TeenHollywood: Why is your character in jail and why has your brother been killed?
Dwayne Johnson: We were involved in a robbery and the robbery went awry.
TeenHollywood: You were committing the robbery?
Dwayne Johnson: That’s right. We weren’t being robbed. They’d be pretty foolish people to try to rob us. So, the guys who we were involved with turned on us, and they execute my brother and shoot me in the back of the head, but I live. Through that, we get busted and that’s why I have to go away, but the guys wind up getting away. Now, 10 years later, they have families. One is a telemarketer, one is a bouncer, one is a pedophile and one is an Evangelist.
TeenHollywood: So, the scar we see now on the back of your head and the one on your cheek is from being shot?
Dwayne Johnson: Correct. I was shot in the back of the head, and it exited out my cheek. There’s a metal plate in my head now.
TeenHollywood: Is this purely about revenge, or does the money matter to this guy as well?
Dwayne Johnson: The money is of no concern to me, whatsoever. I started out with nothing. In terms of the character, my brother was the only thing I had. My only interest and my only thought is to make the individuals pay. I really loved my brother dearly. You’ll see, as the story starts to unfold in the movie, that the money is of no interest, at all.
TeenHollywood: You get to wear jeans and a t-shirt while the Killer [Oliver Jackson-Cohen] that’s pursuing you wears custom made suits. Is part of the pleasure of it that it’s Blue Collar Driver vs. White Collar Killer?
Dwayne Johnson: You have these really fantastically-written characters. In the case of the Driver, there’s no sophistication at all. Basically, the story is about two brothers, and one of those brothers is ripped away from me. The brothers love each other dearly. He’s the only thing I have in my life, but he’s ripped away and killed.
I have to go away and serve about 10 years in prison and, when I get out, the four men who were responsible for that suffer the consequences of taking my brother away from me. Story wise, Oliver’s character is smartly written in. Without getting into too much detail, you can probably figure out how he comes to be and how the match-up comes to happen.
TeenHollywood: Does Killer have some morals, or does he kill innocents?
Dwayne Johnson: He’s specifically after me, for a specific reason. It’s a great plot point, which will unfold in the movie.
TeenHollywood: Since you went to driving school to learn various maneuvers, do you actually get to use anything that you learned in the film?
Dwayne Johnson: Sure, yeah, in a big way. There are a lot of shots that we’re setting up, that we’re getting ready to do, in a couple weeks from now. I’m going 80 or 90 mph, doing 45′s on a dime, doing 180′s, doing reverse 180′s. We’ll do all of that. It was important for me to learn as much as I can, in the limited time we had, in order to not cut away and have the audience know that it’s me in the car. That was really cool.
We had a stunt driving specialist, who’s responsible for teaching a lot of actors how to drive in these big car chase sequences. I spent the day with him and his guys, and it was a lot of fun. My character is pretty proficient at driving and behind the wheel.
TeenHollywood: What’s tougher to handle, a Chevelle SS or Billy Bob Thornton, as the cop looking to arrest you?
Dwayne Johnson: It all depends on what day you get Billy Bob. He’s such an interesting, intriguing guy. He’s very talented and he’s very passionate about what he does, especially when he locks into a role that he really loves. He read the script, loved it. This was a character that spoke to him.
I’ve been a fan of Billy Bob for a long, long time. We both have an affinity for traditional old school, outlaw country music. If I wasn’t in Hawaii, then I was all throughout the South, living in Nashville, Memphis, Atlanta, Charlotte and Tampa, so my country roots were pretty strong, ever since I was 5 years old. We had that to talk about. And, he’s another great storyteller. He’s a talented guy, who’s very intriguing and very passionate about his acting and, certainly, about his music. He’s really, really cool.
TeenHollywood: Did you have a lot of say in the car that you had in this film? Are you a fan of certain muscle cars?
Dwayne Johnson: The Chevelle, for sure. But, I’ve always been a pick-up truck guy. I drove a pick-up here, to the lot. A whole bunch of my buddies were always into muscle cars. But, when they presented me with this particular Chevelle, they gave me the background on it and told me why it was a muscle car and why it was cool.
They also put Nitrogen boosters and things like that in it [like in the Fast and Furious cars], where I’m able to go up against a Ferrari, and I think there’s a Porsche in the movie as well. As long as the car was fast and bad-ass and you gave me that big gun that I have, that’s all that I needed.
TeenHollywood: You’re reunited in this with Carla Gugino, having worked together on Race to Witch Mountain. Do you have much screen time together?
Dwayne Johnson: No. She, along with Billy Bob, tracks me, but we don’t have a lot of time together. But, she’s nailing her stuff. She’s such a great actress. She does very well in this role, in this space, where she’s pro-active, smart, taking care of business and kicking ass where she has to. She doesn’t play weak well, at all, because it’s not in her DNA. So, I was thrilled when she was able to step in and do the movie.
TeenHollywood: You’ve made a lot of family movies lately. Is this the beginning of you doing more action films? Have you already lined up what you’re doing after this?
Dwayne Johnson: Yeah, I’m going to hang out in this space for a little while and do movies that are a bit more dramatic, intense and physical. There are some things that we’re developing.
TeenHollywood: Given that only so much of an action movie can be on the page, what do you look for? What makes you say, “This is an action movie that I want to do”?
Dwayne Johnson: If I like it, if I think the character is going to be fun, if I think the story is good and if it appeals to me, then I want to do it. Hopefully, it appeals to an audience out there, too. It’s tough to nail. I don’t specifically look for A, B and C. I just look for characters that are fun and that I’m going to have fun playing. By the way, that’s whether it’s drama, sci-fi, action, comedy, family movies or action-comedy. I just always want to have fun doing it. That’s the bottom line.
TeenHollywood: Are you still looking to play the ancient Hawaiian king, King Kamehameha?
Dwayne Johnson: We’re developing that now, yeah. That’s very exciting. It’s a true story. King Kamehameha was the ruler of Hawaii, and it’s almost like shades of Braveheart with him. He was responsible for uniting all the islands of Hawaii. It’s an amazing story