'The Rock' ('Walking Tall')
'Are You Ready To Tumble?!'
Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born in Hayward, California on May 2nd 1972 to Rocky and Ata Johnson. While growing up Dwayne would travel around a lot with his parents and would watch his father perform in the ring. During his high school years Dwayne began playing football and he soon received a full scholarship from the University of Miami where he had tremendous success as a football player.
In 1995 Dwayne suffered a back injury which cost him a place in the NFL. He then signed a 3 year deal with the Canadian league but left after a year to peruse a career in wrestling. Dwayne made his wrestling debut in the USWA under the name Flex Kavanah where he won the tag team championship with Bret Sawyer. In 1996 Dwayne joined the WWE and became Rocky Maivia where he joined a group known as The Nation of Domination and turned heel. Rocky eventually took over leadership of the "Nation" and began taking the persona of 'The Rock'.
After the "Nation" spilt 'The Rock' joined another elite group of wrestlers known as the "Corporation" and began a memorable feud with Steve Austin. Soon 'The Rock' was kicked out of the "Corporation". He turned face and became known as 'The People's Champion'. In 2000 'The Rock' took time off from WWE to film his appearance in 'The Mummy Returns' (2001). He returned in 2001 during the WCW/ ECW invasion where he joined a team of WWE wrestlers at Survivor Series.
Since then he has gone on to star in the prequel to 'The Mummy Returns', 'The Scorpion King' (2002), 'The Rundown' (2003) and now Universal's 'Walking Tall'. He is currently married to Dany Garcia and they have a daughter named Simone Alexandra, born in 2001.
In 'Walking Tall', Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays Chris Vaughn, a retired soldier who returns to his hometown to make a new life for himself, only to discover his wealthy high school rival, Jay Hamilton [Neal McDonough], has closed the once-prosperous lumber mill to turn thr town's resources towards his own criminal gains. The place Chris grew up is now overrun with crime, drugs and violence. Enlisting the help of his old pal Ray Templeton [Johnny Knoxville], Chris gets elected sheriff and vows to shut down Hamilton's operations. His actions endager his family and threaten his own life, but Chris refuses to back down until his hometown once again feels like home.
Tell me more about 'Walking Tall' "It's got an old fashioned feel to it like the original but it is contemporized. It's a movie inspired by that movie so my name is not Buford Pusser, my name is Chris Vaughn. I'm really excited about this movie, plus for me it was another challenge as there's a lot more drama involved."
Who else is in this movie with you? "It's me, Johnny Knoxville is in it, Ashley Scott is in it, Neil McDonough from 'Boomtown' is in it ... he plays the bad guy. It's great, the spirit of the story remains the same."
What should the audiences look out for when they watch you in this movie? "I carry a big stick! It's a major stick! I'm taking my stick and whacking you across the head - exactly what Bufford did and what he believed in and stood up for. Really cool, I'm excited, I hope you guys like it."
Will there be any OTT special effects? "When you see like the 'T3's, 'Charlie's Angels' and all these movies that have all these special effects, people all have wirework and are flying through the air. Having the balls to make a movie like this, it's very real. Our feet are on the ground and there's only a couple of action scenes."
You've also wrapped Universal's 'Spy-Hunter', the live-action adaptation of Midway Games' popular game and have just undertaken the role of the 18th century Hawaiian tribal leader 'King Kamehameha'. But, as this movie is about a Hawaiian king and you're not Hawaiian I've heard that this has caused some controversy "The script is very good at this point and Sony has been diligent about making sure that the movie is a great story. It's a beautiful story that hasn't been told and it's funny to hear a couple of the complaints that I'm not Hawaiian and that a Samoan shouldn't be playing this role. The only thing I can do is give my best performance when the time is right. It's a story that deserves to be told and amazingly enough it only happened a couple of hundred years ago."
Finally, describe 'Walking Tall' in three words "Visceral, real, gritty."
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