‘The Rock’ was one of the most famous wrestlers in American history.
At 1.96 metres and 118 kilos, this handsome wrestler of Nova Scotian and Samoan descent dominated the world of wrestling entertainment from 1996 to 2004, before taking a break and returning to the ring in 2011.
While his quick wit and smart moves made him a top wrestler, he had definite talents as an actor, and these days that forms the mainstay of his professional activities.
Acting under his real name of Dwayne Johnson, he is currently playing Dr Smolder Bravestone in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle on movie screens across Australia.
What you may not know about this famous wrestler-now-actor is that his Christian faith is dear to his heart. And that life hasn’t always been as successful for Johnson as it is now.
His talent always lay in sport, leading him to the world of professional football. But after four years of playing football for the University of Miami, a back injury meant that he failed to make it into neither the National Football League (NFL) draft nor his Canadian football team.
Johnson told christiantoday.com that he had to live with his parents in a small apartment and was soon suffering from depression.
“You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it. You feel like you’re alone, that it’s only you. I wish I had someone at that time who would pull me aside and say ‘Hey, It’s gonna be okay.’ I wish I knew that,” he recalls.
“Sometimes the hardest thing for us guys is to ask for help—I made that mistake a few times.”
Johnson is adamant that people need to hold on to faith, and believe that on the other side of that pain is something good.
At another point in his life when things weren’t going well, he says it was his faith that saved him.
“I had to put my faith in God, continue to work hard, and hopefully good things would happen. I have my own special relationship with God and I feel very blessed—I count my blessings every day,” he says.
Despite the initial intention to follow a career as a professional footballer, wrestling was in the family genes, with his father, Rocky Johnson, having been a wrestler. His grandfather, three uncles and six cousins were also involved in the wrestling game.
His marriage of 10 years to Dany Garcia, with whom he has a daughter, ended in an amicable divorce and he is now expecting his third child with Lauren Hashian, his partner since 2007.
Johnson’s fame is such that he has an image in the prestigious Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and has won a Horizon Award, presented to individuals who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans through personal contributions.
In 2006, he founded the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, a charity that works with at-risk and terminally ill children, and Johnson and ex-wife Garcia donated $1 million to the University of Miami to support the renovation of its football facilities—this was the largest donation ever given to the university’s athletics department by a former student.
While now a wealthy man, Johnson takes seriously his responsibility to use his wealth to help others, and he has a few signature sayings that are worth hearing.
“No matter who you are, being kind is the easiest thing you can do. It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice”; and especially, “Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.”