There are numerous Hollywood celebrities who’ve lost major film roles or were turned down for popular projects, but there aren’t many who ended up being grateful for the same. Surprisingly enough though, Dwayne Johnson happens to be one of those rare actors.
The former professional wrestler revealed that he’d apparently been close to bagging the lead role in Christopher McQuarrie’s Jack Reacher before it was ultimately signed off to Mission: Impossible star, Tom Cruise. But as disheartening as losing such a colossal project must be, The Rock didn’t regret the missed opportunity for a single second. Talk about taking rejection in stride.
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Dwayne Johnson Almost Starred in Jack Reacher (2012)
Adapted from Lee Child’s novel titled One Shot, Jack Reacher is an action/thriller film helmed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie starring Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Lee Child, and Werner Herzog. After garnering positive reviews and grossing about $218 million globally on a budget of $60 million, the film turned out to be wholly successful. 4 years later, a sequel named Never Look Back made to the big screens too, helmed by Blood Diamond (2006) director, Edward Zwick.
But before Cruise, 60, starred as Jack Reacher in the 2012 movie, Dwayne Johnson almost stepped into the protagonist’s shoes instead of the Vanilla Sky actor.
During a Q&A session on Facebook live, the Black Adam star talked about how he’d gotten any and every role he’d wanted, except for Jack Reacher.
“The truth is, you know, in Hollywood, actors are kind of like in a box, and the roles that are written..there are a lot of actors who can vie for a particular role because it calls for them to have a certain look, skin color, size, etc. Fortunately for me, there’s not a lot of guys in Hollywood, at all, who look like me. So, all of my roles from the beginning of my career – I’ve been a lucky son of a b**ch that they’ve been created and designed specifically for me, except Jack Reacher.”
But while The Rock was quite keen on getting the role, he didn’t regret not getting it either, albeit he felt bad.
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Dwayne Johnson on Losing Jack Reacher to Tom Cruise
Talking about it, the Central Intelligence star remarked how back then he’d been in an entirely “different” place in his acting career, especially compared to Cruise, who got the role and who he looked up to as “the biggest movie star in the world.”
“Now, this was over 10 years ago and I was in a much different place in my career. Tom [Cruise] was obviously the biggest movie star in the world and I was not. So, I wanted that role so badly because I was a big fan of that character and I thought I could do him justice.”
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Johnson further pointed out how the character bore many resemblances to him in terms of his height and weight along with the fact that the was “a bad dude.” And the reason why he thought he had a shot at securing the role in McQuarrie’s movie was because he was “made [to] think” that.
“So, I got the call saying, ‘Hey, you didn’t get the role.’ Now look, the truth is, I don’t even know if I had a shot for it, but the people around me at that time made me think that I did and I felt like I did. And I felt like, ‘Why not me?'”
At the same time though, the Red Notice actor also believed that given the nature of the character, he wouldn’t have “had the creative space to do what [he] wanted” with the role and for that, he was thankful that he didn’t bag the movie. “I look back in gratitude that I didn’t get Jack Reacher,” Johnson said.
Jack Reacher can be streamed on Netflix.