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52 weeks of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson: Week 2

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Ralph Jones
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Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to The Rock Report, in which every week we take deep dive into the psyche of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson - what he’s done, why he did, what we can learn from such a smiley mountainous man.

It’s week two and, if this is your first time to the ‘Dwayne Johnson debrief’, please, come in. Shall we pick up where we left off? Let’s.

Let’s.

On 5 January, The Rock was – now, get ready for this, put your drink down, make sure you’re not holding anything sharp – exercising. Yes. In Beijing that day, he was doing a gym exercise with metal which looked in actual danger of slicing open his huge hands. Let’s take a peek at some words from the thousands of fans who comment on The Rock’s videos, some of whom are concerned that maybe the big ox is pumping a little too hard. 

“Dude if u keep on working out ur gonna explode if u do then who’s gonna make more dope movies,” says a worried annabelbernal156.

“DJ, you should stop with the workouts,” tobeyandsam adds.

“You wouldn’t want to work out too much (no offense) you could break a few ribs if you are not careful. TRUST ME.”

Then joakim_mculture pipes up: “Try to fight vindiesel.”

It’s a delicious image, The Rock sitting down and scrolling through these bizarre comments in a moment of downtime. “Mm…maybe annabelbernal156 has a point,” he mutters. “Man, I’ve been really running myself into the ground. Maybe I should take it easy. And joakim_mculture might be onto something – I probably should initiate an unprovoked fight with the movie star Vin Diesel.”

There’s a risk when analysing What The Rock Is About And What It Is That We Can Learn From The Rock that we ostentatiously pretend to have gleaned wisdom from him; that we adopt a faux-reverential attitude towards his inspirational nuggets because we think it’s a cool thing for men to do. But, in a video he posted on 5 January, one passage stood out from the noise and made me think. 

“In this day and age,” says The Rock, over a montage of his time in China – him being adored by every single person he encounters – “there is so much digital noise out there. You wanna cut through that noise and meet people face to face. And that’s where the foundation of real success is built.” 

This might be a truism, but how many of us actually live by it? I get the feeling that The Rock, a worldly man who will have shaken untold thousands of hands, really does live by this message. And that, despite the irony of delivering this message via social media, doing so could encourage others to get off their arses and talking to people in person. It’s a small dream, but one to which I’ll cling like a man holding onto a tree in a hurricane.

I touched last week upon The Rock’s eloquence, something I don’t think we discuss enough. Listen to him in this 7 January video, for god’s sake. 

As far as we know, The Rock does not have a speechwriter because he is not (yet) the president. It is a remarkable accomplishment, therefore, that he is able to fire off the following speech – a speech that could almost be taken verbatim and plopped into a Hollywood film – with no erms, no ahs and no uncertain pauses:

“If you’ve worked your ass off and you’re lucky and fortunate enough to be number one; you have scratched, clawed and fought your way to the top; don’t ever stop, because there’s somebody else who’s willing to take your place. They may not be as good as you; they may not be as hungry as you; they may not have the mana deep in here as badly as you do; but they’re always there,” he wisely opines.

Content aside, this is the sort of facility with language that makes people a) love the man like family; b) take it seriously when there is talk of him becoming president. They like hearing rousing thoughts expressed in a way that they are unable to express themselves.

After landing back in the US, The Rock took a trip to the Golden Globes, where he – obviously – lent his support to the Time’s Up campaign, which calls for a change in the discriminatory way women in entertainment are treated.

He was at the ceremony to present an award with Gal Gadot. Under this photo of the two stars together, rudyblanco210 offers the following sentiment: “Fuck the rock.” Good stuff.

Over on Twitter, where he has a comparatively meagre 12.4 million followers, this week The Rock decided to retweet and thank various people congratulating him on Jumanji or telling him they were looking forward to it. A great many of these people had extremely low follower counts and seemed to be strangers to him. It would be intriguing to discover the thought process behind his decisions here. In the eyes of The Rock, I have an extremely low follower count. Perhaps I will ask him. And perhaps he will deign to speak to me, to illuminate his methodology. As ever, we will keep you updated.

That was the Rock Report. Stay hungry, stay humble. 

Read The Rock Report archive right here

(Main image: Rex)

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Ralph Jones

Ralph Jones is a staff writer for ShortList magazine. In April 2015 he won a seven-foot throne of dildos but he’d rather you didn’t mention it. He performs sketch comedy and is on Twitter at @OhHiRalphJones

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