Having been an iconic wrestling star before becoming one of Hollywood’s most recognisable A-list stars, Dwayne Johnson has had quite the life.
Now the 48-year-old star has produced a new sitcom that will detail his youth with sitcom Young Rock.
The show follows his time as an American collage football player, his more reckless teenage moments, and how he grew up in much more humble and less luxurious surroundings than he does now.
In fact, a steady income was much less guaranteed, with his wrestler father Wayde Douglas Bowles – later known as Rocky Johnson – being in a sport before his blew up into big money.
The family moved around from New Zealand, to California and Hawaii.
However, as the clan struggled for money, Dwayne turned to crime.
Dwayne told The Sun: “My life was incredibly complicated and it was incredibly tough growing up.”
He added: “Thirteen is when I started to veer off the tracks.
“I started getting arrested for fighting, theft, all kinds of stupid [stuff] that I shouldn’t have been doing.”
He and his friends targeted wealthy tourists outside designer clothes and jewellery stores to steal from them.
When he was 15, their settled life on Hawaii changed when they were evicted from their home.
Dwayne lived with his father’s wrestling pal Bruno Lauer in Nashville, Tennessee, for a period before settling with his family in Pennsylvania.
Throwing himself into bodybuilding, he embraced the tough guy image of action stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and also got further entrenched in high school football.
However, troubles came during these teen years as he was arrested for theft, fighting, and cheque fraud.
Dwayne described his younger self as “a kid who had some anger issues but also thought he was really cool”.
Winning a scholarship to the University of Miami for his football skills, Dwayne continued to play and garnered a Bachelor of General Studies in criminology and physiology.
Yet, his football dreams would go unrealised as he joined the NFL Draft but failed to be picked by professional teams despite briefly being signed by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Dwayne decided to enter into the world of wrestling and followed in his father’s footsteps
He signed with the World Wrestling Federation in 1996, becoming the first third-generation wrestler there, having wrestling heritage from his father and maternal grandfather Peter Maivia.
Dwayne’s persona as The Rock attracted international attention and he found huge success in the industry as it reached a new peak of popularity, becoming a huge star.
He departed the wrestling profession in 2004 to pursue a career in Hollywood, but has made comebacks for guest appearances and limited runs in later years.
Dwayne’s major film roles include The Scorpion, the Fast & Furious franchise, the Jumani series, Moana, San Andreas, Rampage and Skyscraper.
Now his younger years are the focus of sitcom Young Rock, which sees Adrian Groulx play 10-year-old Dwayne, Bradley Constant as 15-year-old Dwayne, and Uli Latukefu as 18–20-year-old Dwayne.
Dwayne also appears as himself in the show as he narrates the series, co-created, and executive produces it.
He told the paper of the show: “Never did I ever think I’d be in this position where people are bringing to life people in my life and my loved ones.”
*Young Rock premieres in the US on NBC on February 16, 2021.
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