Black Adam Star Dwayne Johnson Wanted To Become Will Smith-Like When He Started Making Movies, the Agencies Looked at Him as if He Had “Two Heads”

Black Adam Star Dwayne Johnson Wanted To Become Will Smith-Like When He Started Making Movies, the Agencies Looked at Him as if He Had "Two Heads"
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Recently, Dwayne Johnson has come under immense backlash for not being able to follow up on his promised celebration in the formative DC universe. Although Black Adam was a good action film with a legitimate story and characters with powerful arcs, the elements of the film lacked unity and felt more like an individual blockbuster packing a punch in the theatres rather than a piece fitting into the larger arc of the DC CBM franchise.


However, the end of 2022 also marked a major milestone for the action star, with Forbes declaring him the highest-paid actor in the world. With the immense caliber of star power that comes associated with the brand name that is The Rock, it is admissible that a failure or two is hardly a matter of concern for the established actor. But when he started in this industry, the story had been quite different in tone as compared to now.

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson

Also read: Dwayne Johnson Almost Quit Hollywood Before Ex-Wife Dany Garcia Left Wall Street to Make Things Right: “Let’s make Hollywood make room for you”


Dwayne Johnson’s Ambitious Approach to Hollywood

Dwayne Johnson is a man of many talents, but each is a strong suit in different categories. Be it football, wrestling, acting, or entrepreneurship – The Rock has had a finger in every pie over the years. But it had all begun with a failed dream of a successful NFL career. Later, his envisioning of a career in the WWE launched him into global fame, he found his first calling there. But the rings were not compelling enough to contain his expanding ambition. Soon, he turned to Hollywood.

Dwayne Johnson in The Scorpion King (2002)
Dwayne Johnson in The Scorpion King (2002)

Also read: ‘The Rock said hell no I’m too old for this’: Fans Troll Dwayne Johnson For Picking a 1v1 Fight Against Football Veteran, Then Backing Out at the Last Minute

The Rock’s success in the film industry is a remarkable story marred by defiance and exceeding expectations, redefining standards of male beauty, and what it means to be a movie star. But all of it came much later.


“I was told that I had to conform to a standard in Hollywood that would beget me more work, better roles. Which meant I had to stop going to the gym, which meant I couldn’t be as big, which meant you had to distance yourself from wrestling. You essentially had to deconstruct yourself.

You know what happens when you have a vision, and you want it executed in a certain way, you need people around you who are going to believe in that too. And at that time, there were some things that were happening… and I knew I had to make a change.”

His career kickstarted with The Mummy Returns in 2001, but he did not find proper recognition until his appearance in the Fast & Furious franchise. When he started off in Hollywood, his ambition would not allow him to aim any lower than stardom which was double the level of Will Smith back then. Johnson would later recall how agencies would look at him like he had grown two heads when he placed his demand.

Dwayne Johnson kicks off the Super Bowl season with electrifying opener
Dwayne Johnson’s star power reverberates across the field

Also read: Dwayne Johnson Refused Advice To Stop Working Out, Lose His Bulky Physique and Drop ‘The Rock’ Name if He Wants To Star in Movies: “I wasn’t gonna conform to Hollywood. Hollywood was gonna conform to me”

In their defense, Smith was the definitive star of Hollywood and until The Rock came along and inherently redefined the industry’s standards from the inside out, it was impossible to believe an aspiring actor with no filmography to his name would want to topple the reigning monarch of the box office industry.


Dwayne Johnson: a Self-Made Movie Star or a Nepo Baby?

Dwayne Johnson’s rise in Hollywood is a struggle that lies somewhere between the most defiant win of a nonconformist visionary against an industry that holds beauty and physicality as a standard and the currently ongoing socio-cultural debate on nepotism. The son of WWE legend, Rocky Johnson, and one of repute himself, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was born into wealth and fame, with avenues and opportunities already opened up for him since conception. But further down the road, he traded the ring for the sets of Hollywood with merely an ambition and a vision to succeed.

Dany Garcia and The Rock
Dany Garcia and The Rock

Also read: “I made a lot of mistakes, I didn’t have the ability to stop”: Dwayne Johnson Blames Himself For Ruining His Relationship With Ex-wife and Manager Danny Garcia

At the end of a decade, the dream was yet to be realized. Soon after, with the collaborative efforts of Hiram Garcia as his producer and armed with the business smarts of ex-wife, Dany Garcia, the trio became an unbeatable powerhouse in the film and entertainment industry. Admittedly, the struggle which would have been an inspiration to many was cut short by the connections that he had made during his days in the WWE, an element that later helped him comfortably transition into Hollywood. But at the same time, Dwayne Johnson still spent 10 years as an aspiring actor aiming to achieve greatness in his life with no assurance whether he would ever be able to land a blockbuster.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Written by Diya Majumdar

Articles Published: 1625

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has over 1600 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for music, Monet, and Van Gogh.