20 Things You Didn’t Know About Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

When you think back to the mid-90s and the entrance of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into the world as a WWF wrestler, you probably don’t remember ever thinking he’d be one of the most famous actors of our generation. However he is. The former wrestling pro has somehow managed to make himself transform from smack-talking wrestler into a suave and sophisticated actor. The transformation is unbelievable. It seems that from the first movie he did, he was a natural. It wasn’t long before he was being cast in big roles. Read on to find out 20 surprising things about The Rock you may not already know.

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He’s a Wrestling Son

When Dwayne Johnson was born in 1972 in California, his role in life was already a little bit predetermined. He is the son of a professional wrestler. His father is Rocky Johnson, a wrestler who was very famous in his generation. It seems that from the start, The Rock was predetermined to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the world of pro wrestling, even though his family probably had no idea he’d abandon the ring for the red carpet – though they’re probably not disappointed in his life choices thus far.

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He’s a Wrestling Grandson

To make things even more interesting, it’s a fun fact to realize that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is also a wrestling grandson. So he didn’t only follow in his father’s footsteps when he made the decision to join the wrestling adventures of the WWF. His grandfather, Peter Maivia, was known as “High Chief” back in his days in the WWF. He was already known as someone to look out for before he even became a wrestler because of his dad and grandfather. This little fact also makes him the first third-generation pro wrestler in the history of the sport.

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His Grandmother is in Wrestling

So the surprises just keep coming. The Rock’s grandmother is also in the wrestling business. She’s not a wrestler, and she never was a wrestler, but she’s in the business. When she was younger, she was a wrestling promoter. Her career choice is one that only made sense in that family of wrestlers. When The Rock’s grandfather passed away, his grandmother took over the role of Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling leader. She’s someone who has a deep insider knowledge of the wrestling business, and she helped to make her grandson a success.

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He’s Got Dual Citizenship

The Rock is not a Canadian, nor was he born in Canada. However, he is a Canadian citizen and an American citizen thanks to some interesting laws that Canada passed in 2009. See, The Rock’s father was born in Canada, making him a Canadian citizen. When there were some changes to nationality laws back in 2009, The Rock was granted citizenship to the country simply because his father is a citizen of the country. So he’s officially an American citizen with dual-citizenship in both Canada and America. Pretty interesting, right?

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He’s a Former Football Player

Did you know that when The Rock was in high school, he played football? Well, he did. It shouldn’t come as a surprise considering his substantial size and his athletic abilities. He was such a good high school payer that he was given a full scholarship to the private University of Miami, where he attended college and played defensive tackle until he was injured in the game and was sidelined. His replacement on the Hurricanes team? A little someone by the name of Warren Sapp, who was just fortunate enough that The Rock was sidelined so he could go on to form a successful career.

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He Was Part of the National Championship Team

When The Rock was at Miami during his football playing days, he was on the team the year they took home the National Championship. He was also part of the team that produced some of the most famous and best players in college football and NFL history. In fact, he was on the team with people such as Warren Sapp, Rohan Marley and Ray Lewis. These are some of the most famous football players in the history of the game, and it’s The Rock that they played football with. It seems that year’s team was pretty successful in life.

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He’s Got Friends in High Places

Why would it seem strange that two men with huge muscles and bodybuilding-type careers would be good friends? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that men of this nature would be good friends, but it never fails to surprise people when they find out that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is actually really close friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man behind the Terminator and the former Governor of California. The two have a lot in common, such as really big muscles and famous careers in the Hollywood life.

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There are Two of Him

It’s true. There are two of The Rock. It seems like an impossibility, but it’s not. Unfortunately for his fans, the second version of The Rock just isn’t real. He’s been honored with his own wax figure at Madame Tussaud’s, the museum famous for replicating the most famous people in the world. The Rock was honored with his replica back in 2002, which was around the time he was given his first leading role in a movie. They had no idea at that point just how famous and how popular he’d become following that role, and it seems they got him early in the museum.

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He’s Got a College Degree

Most people do not associate pro wrestlers (or even actors, for that matter) with educated people. They assume that they were the kind of people who graduate high school and move to the big city to wait tables while simultaneously waiting for their big break. However, The Rock graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Criminology and Physiology. In case his acting career doesn’t work out for him in the long run, he’s got a degree to fall back on and some interesting job prospects to consider.

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His Father Didn’t Want him to Wrestle

You might think that coming from a family full of wrestlers that The Rock’s father would be dying for him to follow in his footsteps and become the next big thing in the wrestling world, but he was actually hesitant to allow his son to join the business. However, he was sidelined in football, not drafted into the NFL and in need of a new athletic career, so his father decided he would train him to become a wrestler. Looks like it worked out for everyone in the long run.

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He Wasn’t Always The Rock

When Johnson first decided to join the wrestling world, he had a different name in mind. All wrestlers have what they call an alter ego, and The Rock’s was, well, The Rock. However, when he first joined the business under his father’s hard work and training sessions, he decided he wanted to go by the name “Flex Kavana,” whatever that means. Fortunately, the name didn’t stick and he was forced to come up with something catchier and a bit more interesting. From there, The Rock was born and history was made.

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He Was a Good Wrestler

Despite the fact that wrestling was not his first choice in a career field, The Rock had an impressive career. It’s also surprising considering his father didn’t even want to train him to wrestle. The Rock went on to win 8 WWE/WWF titles and become one of the most famous wrestlers of his time. He retired from the sport in 2004, not long after his first movie role and the success he had in the film industry began to take off. What really prompted him to retire is unknown, but it’s believed he simply didn’t love his job the way other people do.

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He’s a Music Video Star

Who says that The Rock isn’t talented in just about everything he does? He was a college football star, a movie star, a great wrestler, and he’s a music video star? That’s correct. The Rock doesn’t just do a little, he does it all. In 2000, the pro wrestler made his music video debut – thankfully not as a singer – as a character in a Wyclef Jean video. The “It Doesn’t Matter,” video was a huge success and it granted The Rock even more notice and more fame in Hollywood.

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He’s His Father’s Son

When The Rock was still primarily a wrestler, he made a guest appearance on the hit sitcom “That 70s Show,” in which he played a pretty interesting character. The current actor/former wrestler made his guest star appearance playing his father, whom he does favor. He played his dad as a pro wrestler (he couldn’t play himself in a show that’s called that SEVENTIES show, could he?) and there was no one better for the job. The show is on syndication, if you want to look up the episode in which The Rock plays his father on television.

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He’s Well-Paid

The Scorpion King was the first movie that The Rock ever starred in, and he was just a supporting actor in the role. However, the success of the film was so significant that the director and producers decided to go ahead and create a second film to follow-up, in which they offered The Rock the lead role. In the second installment of The Scorpion King, the actor was paid a substantial $5.5 million, which is the most amount of money paid to an actor in his first leading role. It was a big deal back in 2002, and it’s one that made history.

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He’s a Billion Dollar Actor

The Rock officially became one of the best actors in Hollywood in terms of gross box office success in 2013. It was then that his movies officially made it to the $1.3 billion mark in terms of worldwide box office success. It’s not something that just any actor or actress can accomplish. It takes a lot of work to make it to this level of success, and some seriously big films. Unless you’re an extra in a Harry Potter film or something of that nature, it’s not easy to be in billion dollar movies across the world.

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He’s Been Married

Most people are surprised to learn that The Rock was a married man for about a decade. He’s been on record as one of the world’s hottest single actors and most eligible bachelors for some time, and it’s always a bit of a surprise for people to remember back to 1997 when the actor married a woman by the name of Dany Garcia. They remained married until 2007 when they decided to call it quits on their decade-long marriage, and cited irreconcilable differences as their reason for divorce in their filings.

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He’s a Father

Another surprising bit of information for some people is the fact that The Rock is a father. Most people don’t picture him in such a domestic role, but his little girl is his life, according to the actor. Simone Alexandria was born in 2001, just six years before her parents decided to get a divorce, and he spends a great deal of time with his teen daughter. She’s often by his side when he has a movie debut or red carpet event that’s appropriate for a young girl of her age. He’s been known to say fatherhood is awesome.

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He’s Been in More than 30 Films

Since making his film debut in 2001, he’s been in more than 30 films. Most of them have been very successful, and he’s starred opposite some of the most famous faces in the world. He’s been in some comedies that required him to take on roles as, get this, the Tooth Fairy. However, most of his roles in the movies have been in films that make him into an action star, and it’s not surprising. He’s got the build and the face of an action star, which is what makes it easy for people to believe him in the role.

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He’s an Author

This one might come as a bit of a surprise to many people, but The Rock is actually an author. And he’s not just any author. He’s a New York Times Best-Selling author. He published a book by the name of “The Rock Says,” back in 2000 and it was an immediate hit. It just goes to show that pretty much anything Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says and does turns into a solid gold hit. He wasn’t even an actor when he became a best-selling author.

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