Rock thinks pink as ‘Tooth Fairy’

January 17, 2010

BY CINDY PEARLMAN Sun-Times Columnist

There’s something about pink tulle that makes even the toughest man whimper.

The Artist Formerly Known as The Rock is describing what it was like to squeeze his XXL body into a tutu the color of bubblegum. 

“A tutu is a wonderful fashion statement,” says Dwayne Johnson, who plays the title role in “Tooth Fairy.”

“When I put on my pink leotard, all I could think was, ‘If only my football buddies could see me now.’ Then I squeezed on the custom-made, size 14 ballet slippers, also in pink, and decided, ‘I’m just going to embrace it all.’”

His co-stars had a few ideas about his wardrobe.

“Billy Crystal was on the set and, of course, he was the first one I ran into dressed as a fairy,” Johnson says with a heavy sigh. “I’m busting out of the tutu in all these places and then I run into the 500 extras who are just hanging out on the set for a big scene in the fairy world. They’re laughing hysterically.

“Yes, there were whistles and snickers and what sounded like dry heaves,” Johnson says. “Then I run into Billy, who says to me, ‘You certainly have balls.’”

Johnson, 37, also has a wand and wings in “Tooth Fairy.” His character, Derek Thompson, is a tough, minor-league hockey player who is called the Tooth Fairy because of his ways on the ice. Basically, he goes for other players’ teeth.

When he dashes the hopes of a child, he is “sentenced” to one week as a real Tooth Fairy.

Johnson knows why the iconic character hasn’t made it to the big screen in this major way.

“It always made sense for Hollywood to do a Tooth Fairy movie, but the question is: What do you do with him? And who will play him?

“My character is a dream-killer to children. I tell children ‘you can be anything you want to be, but lower your expectations so you’re not disappointed.’ Then I find out that you can truly be anything.”

Johnson’s 8-year-old daughter Simone didn’t think anything odd about seeing her dad in a tutu.

“The first few days in the outfit, I took pictures of myself on my phone and sent them out to my little girl and the adults in my family. I got a bigger reaction from the adults. My daughter was like, ‘You look cool, Daddy.’”

Johnson has done his fair share of hit family films lately with his hits “The Game Plan,” (2007), “Race to Witch Mountain” (2009) and “Planet 51” (2009).

“It’s not really a conscious choice,” he says. “I didn’t say, ‘Let me do a bunch of family films in a row.’ It was just good material that came to me and I enjoyed doing it. At the same time, I’m longing to go back to action films.”

He’s training for a new one right now — “Faster,” co-starring Billy Bob Thornton. Johnson will play an ex-con who’s bent on avenging the death of his brother, who was murdered 10 years earlier.

“It’s a revenge story,” he says. “To say I kick major ass is an understatement.”

Johnson’s been kicking ass for a long time, having gone from high school football star to playing college ball to professional wrestling before getting into acting.

“I’m very grateful for my life and this job,” says Johnson, who used to be so poor that he would drive by rundown hotels and canvas their dumpsters. “I struggled for a long time, especially as a teen. It was hard for me to stay on the right path. I challenged a lot of adults in my life. By the grace of God I’m here.

“Now, I’m just grateful I can provide for my family,” he says. “I’m glad to be on a movie set and working. I’m asked, ‘Why aren’t you demanding?’ You can’t be that guy if you feel lucky to be at the party.”

The divorced dad lives in Los Angeles, where he does occasionally have to play the Tooth Fairy in real life. His own memories have helped him out with that parental duty.

“The Tooth Fairy was awesome to me as a kid,” he admits. “Of course, I’d say to no one in particular, I really do hope that the Tooth Fairy leaves me paper money and not coins. Money that makes noise — bad. Money that crinkles — good!”

Source: Chicago Sun Times

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