Dwayne Johnson gets very candid about his transition from wrestling to acting

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 09: Dwayne Johnson attends the premiere of Sony Pictures' "Jumanji: The Next Level" on December 09, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

As one of the busiest actors and producers in Hollywood, it’s safe to predict that Dwayne Johnson is probably struggling more than most with being under quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Rather than acting in or aiding the production of his latest blockbuster behind the scenes, Johnson has instead taken to Instagram to open up on his transition from being a WWE superstar to one of the biggest actors in the world. 

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This began with his first part in 2001’s The Mummy Returns as The Scorpion King, which was soon followed by the titular 2002 spinoff for the character.

“Even though I wrestled for 20-50,000 people, I wanted it to feel intimate and the connection to feel real,” explained Johnson, who said he found his “power space in professional wrestling” before then making the purposeful “transition into acting.”

Dwayne Johnson as The Scorpion King in the 2002 action fantasy (Image by Universal Pictures)

Johnson didn’t just want his success to be a flash in the pan, though, he wanted to make sure that he had a “real, long-lasting career that had weight and value” and made him a “real box office presence.” In fact, Johnson’s aim was to be cinema’s number one draw.

“That was my goal at 29-years-old and I was prepared to work my ass off but I also knew, I gave myself a 10-12 year plan. But life is so unpredictable. I was really nervous because I also knew historically it didn’t matter.”

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“Whoever was successful in another arena, just because you were a successful professional wrestler did not mean, in any uncertain terms, that you were gonna become a box office draw or a legitimate movie star. There were no guarantees.”

Johnson’s hard-work has more than paid off, though, as 2019’s Jumanji: The Next Level and Hobbs & Shaw prove that he continues to be one of the biggest draws at the worldwide box office.