After solidifying his career in wrestling, Dwayne Johnson ventured into Hollywood to offer his fans wholesome family-friendly movies. Apart from featuring in blockbusters like Moana, Baywatch, and Jungle Cruise, Johnson earned his reputation from his appearance in the Fast & Furious franchise.
However, despite donning a wholesome entertainment career, Dwayne Johnson once faced his breakdown point, right ahead of his appearance in Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain. Getting cold feet just before shooting began, Johnson nearly quit the movie, until the director convinced him to return in the $86M Mark Wahlberg movie.
Dwayne Johnson Nearly Quit $86M Pain & Gain
Often appearing as the muscly hero with charm and charisma, in most of his films, Dwayne Johnson ventured into Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain to have a different take on his career. Preparing to appear in the movie as a weight-lifting man of faith, dedicated towards humanity who ends up snorting cocaine and grilling human hands in a backyard barbeque, Johnson felt overwhelmed.
Losing his confidence right before the shooting began for Michael Bay’s $86M movie featuring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson almost quit his role. Although the based-on-a-true-story crime thriller later turned out to be the wrestling champion’s greatest career turning point, he initially quit his role after experiencing cold feet.
Although Michael Bay was hell-bent on featuring Dwayne Johnson in the movie, the actor wasn’t ready to accept his role. Despite being excited about his appearance alongside Mark Wahlberg in the $86M movie, Johnson nearly doomed the movie when it was time for him to perform. “He literally quit the week before. And he goes, ‘I can’t do this.’” the director recalled Johnson’s fear, right before filming.
Michael Bay Begged Dwayne Johnson To Return
Although it’s clear that Dwayne Johnson started rising to fame after his appearance in Michael Bay’s 2013 movie, the actor nearly ruined his career and doomed the movie with his lack of confidence. Discussing with the director about his fear and proposing to quit the movie, Johnson turned down the offer weeks before the shooting began.
However, it was Michael Bay who saved the day for everyone, as he successfully convinced the actor to stick around. And evidently, Dwayne Johnson thereafter delivered his best performance in the 2013 movie. Although it took Bay to write a long letter to convince Johnson, it was all worth it, in the end.
“I’m like, ‘Dwayne, you are my secret weapon on this movie.’ And I wrote him this long letter of all the actors I worked with who said they were scared to do something and how it turned out. And he goes, ‘OK. OK. Alright.’ He was brilliant in that movie, and it really is an amazing performance.” Michael Bay revealed.
Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain was a relatively small, low-budget film made with $22M. However, the movie performed well at the box office and earned positive reviews and $86M worldwide. And while Dwayne Johnson repeatedly refused to appear in the movie after losing his confidence, he arguably delivered the best performance despite all odds.
Watch Pain & Gain on Amazon Video.