The Rock

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ranks No. 1 on Forbes list of top-grossing actors

Dwayne Johnson took the No. 1 spot in the Forbes list of top-grossing actors in 2013, while his "Fast & Furious 6" co-stars Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker made the top six, the magazine said on Monday.

The Rock, as Johnson is known since his wrestling career, bested "Iron Man 3" star Robert Downey Jr. by starring in four films in 2013, including "G.I. Joe: Retaliation", that collectively brought in $1.3 billion at the global box office.

"Iron Man 3" is the highest-grossing movie so far in 2013 with $1.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

Forbes makes the list by compiling how many dollars each star's movies brought in at the box office worldwide this year. It does not reflect actors' individual earnings.

The sixth installment of the highly profitable street-car racing "Fast and Furious" franchise earned $789 million at the box office, and the deep-voiced Diesel added the $98 million from the third movie in his "Riddick" series to come in fourth on the Forbes list.

"Fast & Furious 6" alone pushed Walker into sixth place. The 40-year-old actor, who died last month in a fiery car crash, was filming the seventh installment of the franchise and Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, has not yet said how the film will work around his death.

Comedic actor Steve Carell ranked third on the list thanks to the success of the animated film "Despicable Me 2" in which he voices the evil mastermind Gru.
Actress Sandra Bullock came in at No. 5 with two big wins at the box office: the critically acclaimed outerspace thriller "Gravity" and the female cop comedy "The Heat."

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Miami dedicates locker room to The Rock, revolutionizes alumni relations

Wrestling fans (and fans of ‘The U&rsquoWinking know The Rock’s backstory well by now. Dwayne Johnson was a highly recruited defensive lineman out of Pennsylvania. He went to Miami, won a national championship, got hurt, lost his job to a guy named Warren Sapp and eventually became arguably the most successful professional wrestler-turned-actor ever. (He also attached his name to the Fast & Furious franchise, which is one of the smartest things a person can do nowadays.) Now that we’re all caught up, let’s see what Mr. The Rock is currently up to:

Obviously, this is huge news. Imagine the recruiting potential:

“Yes, my name is coach Al Golden of the Miami Hurricanes. I’d like to give you a tour of our facilities. We have a lot of tradition and history at ‘The U.’ You may remember our great years like 1983, or 1987, or 1989, or 1991, or 2001. We had a transitionary period, but we’re back on track, and we think you’ll fit in nicely. Come with me, I’d like to talk about training and … “


“Yes, Dwayne or Dewey as he was called at the time. We should have named it Dwayne “The Rock” “Rock” “Dewey” Johnson Locker Room, am I right? Ha ha ha.”


See? It’s genius. All famous alumni with enough money, regardless of whether they played football or not, should get into the locker room act. It could be the next big thing in school and celebrity relations. To get things started, here are 20 colleges that should name their locker rooms after famous former students.

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson eating 5,000 calories a day to bulk up

Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson is hoping to become one of the biggest movie stars when he sets foot on the Hercules set by guzzling 5,000 calories a day to bulk up for the role.

The actor has been keeping fans up to date with his food intake on his Twitter account, revealing he's gobbling seven meals a day in a bid to get massive as the great Greek demigod.

His meals include a steak, four eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, and a protein supplement and 10 egg whites scrambled with onions, peppers and mushrooms for supper.

In between, he'll also chow down on two whole chickens and two identical halibut and rice meals.

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Michael Bay Thinks The Rock “Needs To Grow Up”

As we’ve been reporting, The Rock underwent surgery earlier this week because of injuries he suffered during his WrestleMania match with John Cena. Because he is recovering from surgery, The Rock had to miss the premiere of his new movie with Mark Wahlberg, “Pain and Gain.”

The director of “Pain and Gain” Michael Bay had some choice words for The Rock when asked about The Rock’s absence while on the red carpet:

“Dwayne’s hurt tonight. He was pushing it too hard. [He] needs to grow up and stop wrestling 300-pound men.”

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson on the mend after surgery

(CNN) -- Last we checked, Henry Cavill's the new Superman, but Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is proving to be quite the man of steel.

The actor had to have an emergency hernia surgery on Monday, causing him to miss out on the Los Angeles premiere of his new movie, "Pain & Gain."

The day before, the star explained that he'd paid a visit to his doctor, "who had to push my intestines back thru the tear in my abdomen. Kinda romantic."

But The Rock appears to be recovering well after the operation, and posted evidence to his Twitter account on Tuesday:

"Surgery a success!" he tweeted, along with a photo of himself in his hospital bed, wearing a Superman T-shirt and flexing his major biceps. "Dr repaired 3 hernial tears (fun pain). Superman is on the mend ..."

Johnson, who turns 41 next week, is said to be at home resting, no doubt in preparation for a busy summer. In addition to starring in Michael Bay's "Pain & Gain," which arrives in theaters Friday, Johnson's also in the sixth "Fast & Furious" installment, which arrives on May 24.

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The Rock Addresses Absence From Raw, Glow In The Dark WWE Action Figure Released, More

- Conspicuous by his absence Monday on Raw was that of WWE Champion Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. "The Great One" addressed his whereabouts in a Twitter message Tuesday.

After a fan asked, "where was you? #Raw without The Rock isnt the same!!!", Johnson replied, "I feel you bro. I was on tour. No rest for the warriors. I'll be back this Monday! #JustBringIt."

Johnson returns to Raw next Monday in in Nashville, Tennessee and is also advertised for the following evening's SmackDown taping in Little Rock, Arkansas.

- WWE officials were pleased with the "Shooting Straight" panels at Royal Rumble Fan Fest, which offered fans the opportunity to hear inside stories about the Montreal Screwjob, D-Generation X and WCW. Expect similar panels to be held at upcoming Fan Fests.

- Ringside Collectibles has released a video previewing the Chris Jericho WWE Elite Series 20 Mattel Toy Wrestling Action Figure, which is the first ever Mattel WWE Figure that glows in the dark. It is available for pre-order at and will be officially released in March.

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How good was The Rock at football?

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rose to fame thanks to his exploits in the pro wrestling ring and got his first break in the movie business as the Scorpion King in 2001’s “The Mummy Returns.”

While the film role may have been seen as a way for producers to rope in fans of Johnson’s wrestling career, it actually sparked what turned out to be a lengthy and lucrative foray into the film world. By this time next year, he’ll have starred in more than 20 movies, while continuing to make his presence felt in the wrestling world.

Wrestling is actually the Johnson family business -- his father Rocky Johnson was a star in the 1970s and '80s, while his Samoan grandfather Peter Maivia was famous in the 1960s.

But before “The Rock,” Dwayne Johnson was a burly defensive lineman that teammates called “Dewey” who wasn’t afraid to walk around in a traditional lava-lava skirt and belt out country music tunes at the University of Miami 20 years ago.

After finishing high school in Pennsylvania, Johnson joined Dennis Erickson’s Hurricanes in 1991, a team that would go on to win the national championship.

Over his four years with the Hurricanes, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Johnson started only once, appearing in 39 games with a total of 77 tackles and 4.25 sacks.

Still, Johnson left an impression on coaches and teammates that went deeper than his numbers, starting with the man who recruited him, Ed Orgeron, currently the defensive coordinator at USC.

Orgeron, University of Miami defensive line coach (1989-1992): "He was a highly recruited kid. We were excited to have him, he came to us ahead of his time. He was developed and was extremely quick. He was a hard worker and a humble young man.

"Everybody liked him. He was easily coachable and everybody was impressed with him. He came in and played a lot as a freshman."

Kevin Patrick, University of Miami teammate (defensive end, 1989-1993): "At that time in college football I don’t think there was any doubt the University of Miami was at the top of their game. If you were on that team and a scholarship player, you were highly recognized.

"You look at those rosters that Dewey was a part of, they were loaded with talent and he was competitive.

"I can remember one of the first times he was on campus, it was an official visit. Our D-line coach [Orgeron], who was recruiting him, he was very proud, and he says, 'Look at my new dog.'

"And you look over and there’s this yoked-up kid with muscles everywhere walking around on the field. He got everyone’s attention. He was a physical specimen from Day 1. He didn’t just become one as soon as he became a wrestler.

Orgeron: "As a freshman, he came out, and back then we didn’t play too many freshmen. But he was very strong, he had some great practices and we were able to play him as a freshman, and at one point we thought maybe we’d start him as a freshman.

"The problem with Dwayne was there was a guy named Warren Sapp who came along the next year."

Warren Sapp, University of Miami teammate (1992-1995): "He was a specimen. He looked great. He always looked great. He was tan, curly hair. He was the kind of guy you want your sister to date, because he was a nice guy. I always said that to him.

"When he was [first] there, I was a tight end in high school and I got [to Miami] as a tight end and linebacker, and they moved me over to D-line. I was real reluctant to do so. I thought I was a pretty good tight end and a pretty good athlete, but being 290 pounds, they moved me to D-line and said, 'We need you to rush the passer or you can go home.'

"So I came into the D-line room and sat down, and Dwayne Johnson walks in and says, 'What are you doing here?'

"I said, 'I’m here for your job.' So that’s how me and him had our introduction to each other. I said it jokingly, but I was there for his job."

Orgeron: "You’re talking about one of the best college football players of all time. If not for [Sapp], Dwayne could have been an all-conference, perhaps an all-American."

Sapp: "There was no competition between us. You could ask him and he’d tell you. He became a wrestler and a movie star. I love him to death, but he couldn’t play with me. If he’d tell you anything else he’d be lying to you."

Orgeron: "Dwayne was a good player, but he wasn’t one of our star players. We had some really good defensive linemen.

"He was very athletic, he had great gifts. Great strength. I coached at Syracuse, and if Dwayne had been there, he would have been one of the top linemen we ever had at Syracuse. He was that type of player."

Brad Webber, University of Miami strength coach (1988-1998): "At that time we had so many good players who did such a good job pushing each other, whether it was in the weight room or on the field -- we had two great bookends at that time. We had KP and Warren Sapp.

"Back in the day, Miami had some drills that were pretty cranked up. It was the offensive line versus the defensive line. At that time we had a great defensive line. They had some reps and they got Dewey in there and he got rocked right off the bat.

"And Kevin grabbed him and pulled him out of there and said, 'That’s not how we’re going to do things around here.' He didn’t really appreciate that, so they squared off right there and kind of pushed each other around, and Dewey said, 'I’ll see you in just a little bit.'"

Patrick: "We were all best friends and we loved each other but when it boiled down to it, you fought for your job. I can remember getting into a fight with him in the strength coach’s office."

Webber: "After practice things kind of simmered down and we had come into the weight room. And they’re doing some working out and we had a big coach’s office that looked out into the weight room. And KP was in the office kicking back, and I saw Dwayne walk in there and he turned and shut the door and locked it, and looked through that glass window and smiled at me. And I said, 'Oh no, here we go.'"

Patrick: "I was the starter and there was this young kid fighting for his place, I didn’t take s--- from anyone and neither did he.

"I went to put him in his place and he fought back and words were exchanged and next thing you know there was a huge collision in the middle of that office."

Webber: "They start going at it and I ran down through that weight room and had to unlock the door -- in the meantime they had flown over my desk and tore the desk to pieces and knocked everything off there, and they were back in a little bitty hole behind the desk just wearing each other out.

"Dwayne ended up getting on top of him and he was trying to get a hold of his tongue. He was saying, 'I’m going to pull that tongue out of your head if you keep talking that trash.'

"So eventually I dove over on top of both of them, and next thing you know we’re all laying in there. You know how it is: You’re fighting one minute, you’re boys the next. We were laughing about it two minutes after that."

Patrick: "No punches were ever thrown and I think over time this story has gotten a lot bigger than it actually was. But we got after it pretty good and tussled around.

"I think we destroyed everything in that office, including the desk. In books, I’ve gotten his interpretation of the fight and I’ve heard it from his mom, and over the years it’s changed to be more amusing."

Sapp: "When you have a partner in crime and you can go balls-to-the-wall in a ball game and come out it knowing it’s not going to fall off, that bodes well for you.

"I knew I had somebody that was more than capable of playing if I was taken out. He was our do-everything guy. He could play inside and out, he could play all four positions.

"He was the Swiss Army knife. He was our utility guy. It was, 'Dewey, go left end. Go nose. Go right end.' He could do it all.

"He was a jack-of-all-trades, but only a master at wrasslin’.

Patrick: "One of my fondest memories is we got in a fight at San Diego State, and when they were breaking it up, the Aztec Indian was trying to climb a high wall down in the end zone of the stadium and Dewey was right behind him. The Aztec was trying to climb and there’s Dewey trying to yank him down."

Orgeron: "His uncle was Jimmy Snuka, he came from a wrestling family. So we knew about that.

"I remember one day walking off the field, he hadn’t had a good day and I said something like, 'You know, Dwayne, you should just become a wrestler.'"

Sapp: "So we used to joke with him by saying, 'When you get done with football, you’re going to go into wrestling, right?'

"And he’d say: 'Damn right, bitch.'

"And we were like, "All right, that’s cool by us.' It was just our way of joking with him and passing time.

"So I get to the NFL and [teammate] Derrick Brooks is a wrestling nut. He watched wrasslin’ all the time: 'Monday Night Raw,' 'Tuesday Night Thunder,' whatever it is, he watched it. And I was his roommate. I’d come in the room and I’d be like, 'Oh come on. It’s Monday night, there’s football on, and we’re not watching football?'

"And Brooks would say, 'No, no: "Monday Night Raw."'

"One day I walk in the room and I hear 'candy ass.' And I said, 'What the heck?' That’s what coach O [Orgeron] used to say.

"And then I started watching."

Patrick: "The first time I heard Joe Diffie’s song 'If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)' was because Dewey was sitting next to me on the way back from Colorado singing his tail off.

"He’s got a pretty good voice and was big into country music. We’d see him in the apartment he lived in just singing his tail off. We thought this was pretty good. He always had that, and in combination with his family background, we knew he was going to be something special if not on the football field but in another line of work."

Webber: "Football’s an emotional game and it gets hot and heavy, but that’s one thing about those Miami teams, we were all family and still are. You don’t see some of them for 10 or 20 years, but when you do, it’s like you never left. It’s a special place and a tight bond between all those people."

Patrick: "The one thing I say about Dewey is that he’s one of the most down-to-earth, most humble guys that I have ever been around.

"He’s as quality as it gets -- that could not have happened to a better person. It’s kind of cliché, but he’s a guy who worked his ass off.

"It’s interesting to see how his career has developed over time. I was taking my kids to see 'The Tooth Fairy' and I remember my kids saying, 'We’re going to see daddy’s friend in the movie.' And they were obviously excited."

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The Rock Gets His First TV Show

I decided to write about Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in our Celebrity 100 issue not just because he’s a charismatic action star with a penchant for saving franchises. Johnson is also a smart businessman who understands that in today’s entertainment industry, it’s no longer enough to do one thing really well. You have to build a brand and a business.

Johnson is doing that with his latest venture: a reality TV show on TNT called The Hero. The show, which will premier next summer, will feature ten ordinary people living in a house and carrying out various “missions” to “test their brains, their brawn and even their mortality.”

Johnson will appear on the show as as mentor and motivator. It’s a role familiar to his many fans. On Twitter, Johnson is constantly encouraging his 3.3 million followers to push themselves with the TeamBringIt hastag and tweets like “Pay your dues, stay grindin’ and flat out bust your ass daily to achieve success — no two ways about it.”  The show will also have a social media component allowing viewers to vote on who should win each week. The Hero is being co-produced by Johnson’s ex-wfe and producing partner, Danny Garcia, and Ben Silverman’s Electus.

If the show is a success, it will accelerate Johnson’s rise in Hollywood. The wrestler earned an estimated $36 million between May 2011 and May 2012. For more on Johnson you can read my Celebrity 100 profile of the star here.

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stops burglary on the set of Fast Six

The 40-year-old former wrestler sprang into action when the youths tried breaking into vans containing expensive equipment in Hackney, East London.

The Rock — real name Dwayne Johnson — was dressed as an FBI agent while filming The Fast and the Furious 6 in a neighbouring warehouse and caught sight of the thieves trying to force locks.

When he clocked what was happening, the 6ft 5ins, 20-stone star left filming in the middle of a battle sequence and charged at the hoodies waving his fake police badge.

The youths were so shocked that they stopped what they were doing and fled empty-handed.

A source said: “It was so funny. The Rock looked like an action hero because he had his flak jacket on and an FBI badge in his hand. All of a sudden there was loads of gunfire and this giant dressed as a copper was about to mow them down. The lads jumped out of their skin and scarpered down the canal path and left the crew in peace.

“It was like the Only Fools Batman sequence — they must have thought they were in the middle of a real-life action movie.

“Now the crew are joking that they should drop security and just have The Rock do it.”

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The Rock Sells Massive Mansion

The Rock has sold his massive, stunning home in Hidden Hills for very close to the $4.9 million asking price ... TMZ has learned.

Sources tell us the estate -- located 22 miles from Hollywood -- is being purchased by a businessman.  It's currently in escrow and scheduled to close shortly.

The 9,120 square foot house has 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, an infinity pool and an awesome home theater. 

The lucky realtors -- Tomer Fridman from Sotheby's International who represents the buyer and Andrew Manning from Prudential who reps The Rock -- should score a nice commission.

Click here to see photos of the estate.

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The Rock developing action-adventure reality series

Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, is tired of playing hero, he wants to find a real one. Well, a “real” one.

Johnson is in the process of developing an action-packed reality “global adventure” series, titled The Hero, which he would also executive produce along with producing partner Dany Garcia and entertainment studio, Electus.

The series, which is in the early stages of development, would place three teams on three different continents and “challenge contestants with difficult moral dilemmas, incredible feats of courage, and individual leadership and sacrifice.” (So…Amazing Race meets NCIS?)

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Goes Into Detail About G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Dwayne Johnson sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about his movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

What can you tell us about G.I. Joe: Retaliation?
I can tell you this one is creatively much different [from the first]. It’s rooted, it’s grounded, it’s real. The studio came to me and I loved the idea of starring in the movie because I grew up on G.I. Joe and it’s a massive property. I spoke to the studio and they told me about the creative shift that they wanted to make with the movie, which made it easy for me to sign on.

Franchises are often “rebooted” after three or four movies. Did the studio talk about why they wanted to do so after just one?
Sure, sure. We all talked about that. The very frank discussions that I had with the studio was, ‘We know we can do better. And let’s challenge ourselves and sit down and make the movie that’s going to entertain the world.” I can appreciate that transparency and that directness. When you’re that open from the beginning it makes things much easier and it makes the creative process that much better.

Can you give us some idea about the plot?
Absolutely. The Cobra command is trying to take over the world. I emerge as the leader. I go get Bruce Willis and we start kicking a– all over the place and stopping that!

What can you say about your character, Roadblock?
In the mythology of G.I. Joe, Roadblock is the glue that holds the Joes together. The added layer to that for me was to make him a B.A.M.F.

Who does Bruce Willis play?
Bruce Willis plays the original Joe, Joe Colton. He fitted so nicely into this role. I’ve been not only a fan of Bruce since I was a teenager but a friend of his for years now. And us together, in these roles, as a fan of movies but also as a fan of action heroes, I’m excited about this. Bruce does that very well. And when I say “That” I mean, “There’s a problem, I’m going to fix it, and I have a gun.” [Laughs] We both do that very well.

I believe Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played one of the villains in the first movie, isn’t in Retaliation. Can you say who, if anyone, has replaced him in the role?
Well, to be honest with you, I didn’t see the first one. So I’m not quite too sure. I know he’s not in it, but I’m not quite too sure what role he played.

Have you still not seen the first one?
No, I didn’t want to see it. I just didn’t want that to cloud my judgment in any way as we were going down a new creative route.

Channing Tatum returns from the first one, as does Jonathan Pryce. So there are some plot connections between The Rise of Cobra and Retaliation?
Yeah, sure, sure. There are some plot connections with the first and the second. I’ll tell you this: Out of great tragedy often emerges new leaders and, through a great tragedy that takes place with the Joes, new leaders emerge.”

John M. Chu directed the movie. What was he like as a collaborator?
He was great to work with.

Where did you shoot the movie?
We were all in New Orleans. We were the first production that was allowed to shoot inside of NASA there in New Orleans. They were nice enough to let us shoot in there, and utilize everything that they had, which was amazing. We made a complete mess of the place and probably screwed it up for any production that’s going to come in there after us. We had a lot of explosions there. But we cleaned up everything nicely!

Would you be up for making another G.I. Joe?
I would. Definitely. The world ain’t saving itself! Me and Bruce and the Joes, we’ve got some saving to do!

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has had quite a path from UM football player to pro wrestler and film star

MIAMI BEACH — Practically speaking, the day Dwayne Johnson became a University of Miami Hurricane was the day Dwayne Johnson became The Rock.

At 16 years old.

Flash back to February 1989, and there was a kid from Bethlehem, Pa., holding a news conference to announce he was signing to play football at UM. If ever there was an I'll-do-as-I-please moment, this was it, for part of the allure was that Miami initially showed zero interest in him.

So what does Johnson do? Not only barge his way onto the Hurricanes' wish list, but, upon signing, he flashes that raised right eyebrow for the cameras as his buddies roar.

You needn't be a fan of professional wrestling to know that "The People's Eyebrow," as he now calls it, has become a Johnson trademark. No, Johnson's dream of a professional football career didn't pan out, but everything else did, first by following his relatives into pro wrestling stardom, then by raising eyebrows by embarking on a movie career that has exceeded even his wrestling stardom.

Sunday night, everything comes full circle when Johnson makes a much-hyped cameo in the ring as John Cena's opponent in the main event of WrestleMania, World Wrestling Entertainment's annual Super Bowl.

The show, before an expected sellout crowd and worldwide pay-per-view audience in the millions, will be a few minutes from Johnson's Davie home, at Sun Life Stadium - the Hurricanes' current home.

"It sealed the deal for me," Johnson said of the venue proposed by WWE chairman Vince McMahon in negotiations more than a year ago. "It's going to be a fun night, an electric night, but also a very emotional night, considering South Florida has been my home for over 20 years."

He has traveled a rocky road here. No one will ever know how good a football talent he was. Johnson, a defensive tackle, saw his career bookended by a separated shoulder and then by two ruptured discs, although he stubbornly played through that as a senior even though teammates had to help him undress after games. In between, he helped UM reach three national-title games, winning one.

Johnson, 39, can only laugh now at how his football dream ended: clearing $175 a week in the Canadian league, where he and a couple of teammates were forced to scrounge wretched, soiled mattresses from a hotel dumpster just to have something to sleep on.

Yes, that's the same Dwayne Johnson who has been on the cover of Newsweek, hosted Saturday Night Live and commanded $5.5 million for The Scorpion King, a record for a first-time leading man, according to Guinness. Four years ago, a certain presidential candidate filmed a spot saying, "Do you smell what Barack is cooking?" - a play on another of Johnson's trademarks.

Cena, an action star to a lesser degree whose credits include The Marine, said, "He is known throughout the world. His movies have grossed over a billion dollars. A success at the University of Miami. A tremendous success in the WWE. I have the world's greatest opponent."

Former UM teammates can't be shocked, having known then of his family's wrestling roots or having seen Johnson impersonate wrestlers in the locker room.

Last week, Johnson's shtick was for a TV audience, virtually ad-libbing for 6 1/2 minutes in front of the Rocky Balboa statue in Philadelphia. He showed an old picture of himself with that statue. ("The Rock knows what you're thinking. Yeah, The Rock looked like a chunky little girl at 12 years old.") He described how The Rock was going to take a Philly cheesesteak and shove it in a place that would make Cena extremely fidgety.
"He just knows how to hold an audience in the palm of his hand," Cena said.

Dave Meltzer, editor of, said plenty of wrestlers made movies, but no one else made the crossover so smoothly.

"Face it: The greatest thing to happen to him is he didn't play in the NFL," Meltzer said. "A lot of people looked at him first as, 'Oh, he's a wrestler trying to be an actor.' And nobody says that now. Everyone knows he's a wrestler, but when they see him in a movie, it's 'Dwayne Johnson, who used to be a wrestler.' "

His WWE shtick is over-the-top cocky, but his charm is in the smile that follows, as if to say, Isn't that the craziest thing you've ever heard? Until I say the next craziest thing?

The exclamation point: the raised eyebrow.

"The eyebrow was something that came about when I was in high school," Johnson said. "We had this game that we would play, this contest. How could we get the attention of the girls without saying anything and without being vulgar? And I had this very unique talent - and I use the word 'talent' very loosely -- of raising one eyebrow. I never would have dreamed that it would create something that wound up being part of visual lexicon."

His mother, Ata, said his real-life persona is nothing like what he displays on film or between the ropes.

"He's very quiet and very soft-spoken," she said. "Half the things he says in the ring, I have to listen again: Did he really say that?"

Johnson, who for more than a year has had rings set up adjacent to his movie sets to train for Sunday, is vague on how he'll divide his time in the near future. Monday, he'll begin filming Michael Bay's true crime film Pain and Gain, "blowing up a few things" around Miami with Ed Harris and Mark Wahlberg. Sunday night, however, he'll be sweating in the Hurricanes' home once more.

"It was one of the most defining periods of my life," Johnson said of his UM days. "I look back on those memories at University of Miami and recognize that I wouldn't be the man I am today without those years at Miami."

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson set for WWE return

PHILADELPHIA -- Dwayne Johnson's latest movie just topped $300 million in worldwide grosses. He's laid the smack down on Hollywood and become an in-demand action star for hire.

But the next time someone barks, "Action!" Johnson will slip back into his most famous role yet: The trash-talking, trail-blazing, jabroni-beating wrestler known simply as The Rock.

Think an established superstar actor like Brad Pitt would risk getting his teeth knocked out for a run in sports entertainment?

The Rock, who rose to stardom in the wrestling business, says there's nowhere else he'd rather drop The People's Elbow than in the ring. The Rock returns to the WWE for his first WrestleMania match since 2004 when he headlines the April 1 card against former champion John Cena at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

For a company once home to Hulk Hogan and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, this bout is as close as it gets to a dream match. Catchphrase-chanting, die-hard pro wrestling lovers are revved up about the return of The Great One. Casual fans, too.

"I came back to put on the biggest match of all time," Johnson said. "That's all I want to do. There's no one I can do that with right now other than John. He's far and above everyone else in terms of popularity. He's the guy. Is he Stone Cold? No. Is he Hogan? No. But he is John Cena and he's been on top for a long time now."

Johnson reigned in that top spot at the end of the 1990s and the early part of the last decade before embarking on an impressive run in Hollywood. His current film, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," grossed $95 million in its first six weeks domestically and reached $300 million worldwide. His previous movie, "Fast Five," made more than $210 million in domestic grosses, proving that Johnson knows how to rock the box office.

All that big-ticket drawing power is why the WWE believes he can attract more than a million pay-per-view buys (at $54.95 a pop) in his return singles match.

"They know that I'm back, not for money, not because I like being on the road, but because I love the business," Johnson said. "The energy level is different this time around, the connection is more emotional this time around."

Sitting in the Wells Fargo Center seats hours before 18,088 fans packed the place for Monday's live "Raw," Johnson reflected on a career that took him from $40 paydays and Waffle House meals to his choice of top movie roles and a lavish $3.4 million pad in South Florida.

His stories are interrupted by visits from today's WWE crew. Sheamus, a rising WWE star, had a brief chat with The Rock.

"Great match on Friday," Rock says. "I texted Chris (Jericho) on Friday. You guys killed it. That boot at the end, that was awesome."
Sheamus smiles and appreciates the feedback.

"Thank you, Rock."

The Rock says, if the boys in the back are resentful he slid into the main event without toiling 200-plus days last year on the road, he hasn't noticed.

"The best part of me coming back is hearing them say, 'You've inspired me, thank you,'" Johnson said. "That's the greatest compliment that I can get. It's so cool man. They don't talk about movies. They don't talk about other matches. It's just, 'You've inspired me.'"

On screen, Cena has a contrasting take.

"I was a fan in '99. I'm not a fan now," Cena said. "I don't know what he's got going on upstairs."

The Rock returned to Vince McMahon's empire last year as WrestleMania's guest host, but couldn't help but get physical in the main event. He dropped his finishing move, The Rock Bottom, on Cena which allowed WWE champion The Miz to get the pin and retain his title. The next night on "Raw," Cena and Rock agreed to a bout for this year's signature event, a bold and risky yearlong push for a company where real injuries often fracture fantasy storylines.

Johnson's return boosted Wrestlemania's buy rate to 1,042,000 worldwide -- the first time it topped a million in three years and seventh time overall.

The Rock wrestled for the first time in 71/2 years when he teamed with Cena at November's Survivor Series pay-per-view against Miz and R-Truth.
The temporary alliance disintegrated and the duo have engaged in verbal battles for most of the last two months. Cena tweaked Rock's catchphrases in a rap song. Rock strummed the guitar and sang his own tune about where he wants to stick his boots at Wrestlemania. The two have gone back-and-forth on Twitter. It's a unique twist on hype -- far removed from the ferociousness of Roddy Piper bashing Jimmy Snuka's head with a coconut.

"We've been griping like two little kids now for about a year," Cena said. "Now, everybody wants to see us fight."

Cena and Rock top a card that includes WWE champion CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho, "Triple H" Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. the Undertaker in a steel cage, and Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly and "Extra" co-host and current "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Maria Menounos.

Like Johnson, Jericho has found mainstream success as an author, lead singer of the band "Fozzy," and reality TV and awards show host. Jericho said few people have Johnson's oversized personality to transition into all forms of entertainment.

"I know just how much firepower Rock has," Jericho said. "I think people forget sometimes how good he is."

Fans have tuned in, though not quite in the monster numbers of Johnson's "Attitude Era" heyday. The March 12 "Raw," averaged 4.82 million viewers (4.97 million watched the second hour of the show) which bested the highest-rated NCAA tournament cable game, Kansas vs. Purdue (4.43 million viewers).

Johnson has committed to appearing at next year's WrestleMania at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. In what role, he hasn't said.

It's clear if the WWE wants to squeeze another potential blockbuster buy rate out of the Rock, the last man standing to get the headline match would be the return of former WWE and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

How about it: Brock vs. Rock at WrestleMania 29?

"I'm not saying a thing," said a laughing, grinning Rock, eyebrow raised. "I didn't say anything."

The Rock silenced. That's a first.

Before Johnson can map out a storyline for next year's WrestleMania, there are more movies to shoot. He just wrapped, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," and begins filming Michael Bay's "Pain & Gain," with Mark Wahlberg on April 3. He also has starring roles lined up for "Fast Six," and "Hercules."

Johnson would like to shed the invincible hero role for once and grapple with a meatier, dramatic role.

"A role like that will come," he said. "I can't wait for that to come, by the way. We'll develop things. I'm patient."

He won't have to wait much longer for WrestleMania.

"He wants to be No. 1, so do I," Cena said "So go at it boys, and see what happens."

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the Next Screen Hercules, Joins Semi-Storied Tradition

So Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, not Steve Carell or Jake Gyllenhaal, has been cast as Hercules in the action-hero epic to be directed by Brett Ratner for MGM. Filming will start in New Zealand in October.

The screenplay has been adapted by Ryan Condol from British comic writer Steve Moore’s 2008 “Hercules: The Thracian War.” The 144-page graphic novel depicts how Hercules, the anguished son of Zeus, and his six fellow mixed-sex Greek mercenaries are commissioned by King Cotys of the Odrysae to fuse the warring tribes of Thrace (comprised of parts of modern Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey) into the ancient world’s most ruthless and bloodthirsty army. Cotys, though, is treacherous and has his eyes set on conquering Greece and Olympus itself…

There’s no word yet on whether Hercules will muck out the Augean Stables or complete his other 11 labors in this adaptation. Since Moore followed the novel with another, “Hercules: The Knives of Kush,” an Egyptian tale of pirates, robbers, and royal intrigue at the court of the pharaoh, the stage is set for Ratner and Johnson to make a sequel, should the first movie be successful.

Hercules reached his zenith as a movie hero in the years following bodybuilder Steve Reeves’s success in “Hercules” (1958), directed by Pietro Francisci in Italy. A box-office phenomenon that earned $5 million in the US alone, the movie made Reeves Europe’s highest-paid actor and started the sword-and-sandal (or “peplum&rdquoWinking craze.

Reeves subsequently starred in 1959’s “Hercules Unchained” and then moved on to characters like Glaucus, Goliath, Romulus, and Aeneas. Ten other actors played Hercules in the 17 Hercules movies that followed, the last appearing in 1965. Among them was former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay, who starred with his wife, Jayne Mansfield, in 1960’s “Hercules vs. the Hydra,” a kitsch classic par excellence. (Better that, though, than Disney’s 1997 animated version.) Another Hercules, one interestingly fond of romping with the handsome Hylas (John Cairney), was portrayed by the South African actor Nigel Green in the 1963 Ray Harryhausen classic "Jason and the Argonauts."

There’s a case to be made that the cinema’s first Hercules was Eugene Sandow (1867 – 1925). The famous Austrian strong man was “kinetographed” showing off his physique against a black background by cinematographers W.K. L. Dickson and William Heise in Thomas Edison’s tar-papered “Black Maria” studio in East Orange, New Jersey, on March 6, 1894 – 118 years ago today. The copyright title of the film, usually known as “Sandow, No. 1,” is “Sandow, the Modern Hercules”

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The Rock says Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips did good

The Rock says he is going to electrify MetLife Stadium like never before at next year's WrestleMania.

But Dwayne Johnson was a football player at the University of Miami before he became The Rock. And he dreamed of playing in the NFL and winning a Super Bowl. That is why he took time to walk on the MetLife Stadium field before yesterday's WrestleMania press conference and soak in the atmosphere of the home field of the world champion Giants. He also said he is thrilled for his fellow Hurricanes Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips.

"Very proud of those guys," Johnson said. "What happens when we’re at the University of Miami, there is such a love and connection and a brotherhood that we all have that we love and we support each other. It is about 'The U' whether we have winning seasons or not. But all those guys who go on and play in the NFL, I am very very proud of those guys. That was my goal too but it didn’t happen for me. It happened to those guys and I am very proud."

"Football was my life for a lot of years," he added. "I've always had what I call Super Bowl dreams, of getting drafted and playing in the NFL and playing in the Super Bowl. That never happened. So I live vicariously through a lot of these guys and the New York Giants is one of them.

"To be able to come here and not be a Super Bowl champion but be 'The People's champion'... on this field... awesome."

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announces he will participate in WrestleMania 29 at MetLife Stadium

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Before it will host Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, MetLife Stadium will be home to WrestleMania XXIX in 2013.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon and Jets and Giants owners Woody Johnson and John Mara were among those at a news conference to announce that WWE's biggest annual event would be held at MetLife Stadium on April 7, 2013.

"In terms of the competition for this event, it was as much that we went through to try to earn this event from Vince and his company that we went through with the Super Bowl," said Mark Lamping, president of MetLife Stadium.

The Giants and Jets fought hard to be awarded an outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl game. Now the home of the Super Bowl champion Giants and the Jets will get an appetizer of sorts on what it will be like to handle a big sports entertainment event before the Super Bowl comes the following year.

"This is not a one-day thing," Christie said. "This is a week-long celebration that is going to be brought here to New Jersey and the surrounding area. You will have fans from all around the country and around the world who are going to come and generate tens of millions of dollars in all type of economic activity for this area."

WWE star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who played football at the University of Miami and dreamed of playing in the NFL before following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather into the WWE, said he walked on the MetLife Stadium field before Thursday's conference.

"I went out there and I soaked it all in," said the actor and wrestler, who will be featured in the main event of this year's WrestleMania and told reporters he will be a part of the WrestleMania at MetLife Stadium as well. "Football was my life for a lot of years. I've always had what I call Super Bowl dreams, of getting drafted and playing in the NFL and playing in the Super Bowl. That never happened. So I live vicariously through a lot of these guys and the New York Giants is one of them.

"To be able to come here and not be a Super Bowl champion but be 'The People's champion'... on this field... awesome."

In 2011, WrestleMania was held before 71,617 fans at the Georgia Dome. This year's event will be April 1 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. WrestleMania has generated more than $200 million in cumulative economic impact for its past four host regions.

"I can tell you I will come to WrestleMania XXIX and I will electrify MetLife Stadium as it's never been electrified before," Johnson said before delivering his trademark "if you smell what The Rock is cooking" sign off.

"WrestleMania has very quickly grown into a week-long celebration that generates in excess of $60 million of new direct spending for the host community where it takes place," said John Saboor, WWE's senior vice president of special events. "We expect by virtue of the enormity and popularity of this market that we could see an even greater result tied to WrestleMania."

John Cena, Triple H, Mark Henry, Sheamus and Brie and Nikki Bella joined Dwayne Johnson and the Giants' David Diehl and Zak DeOssie and the Jets' Kyle Wilson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Matt Slauson and Donald Strickland at the press conference.

"I'm glad you don't have a roof on the building," Cena said of the open-air stadium. "Because we would surely blow it off."

Triple H also presented Woody Johnson, the Jets chairman and CEO, and Mara, the Giants CEO and president, with world championship belts and stood between the two holding both their hands up like prized wrestlers.

"I think it was pretty funny," Diehl joked about seeing the Giants co-owner with a championship belt over his shoulder. "I think you saw the tale of two tapes between [Mara] and Woody. Looking to see them wrestle each other at WrestleMania."

The 2013 WrestleMania will be the fifth one to be held in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. McMahon said he was thrilled to be bringing WrestleMania "home."

"It all started back in 1985 in Madison Square Garden where the first WrestleMania," McMahon said. "Who will ever forget Muhammad Ali as the guest referee of the main event. Billy Martin was the guest ring announcer. Mr. T was in the main event with Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper. Of course there was Cyndi Lauper in the corner of one of our Divas matches and let's not forget, Liberace and The Rockettes.

"WrestleMania on April 7, next year, comes home," he added.

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Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock': 'Journey 2' was 'nice change of pace'

Dwayne Johnson, aka wrestling star "The Rock," is known for hardcore action films and what he calls "intense character" but is happy to switch gears for the new family adventure movie "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island."

In the film, which was released on February 10, Josh Hutcherson plays Sean Anderson, who partners with his mom's new man, portrayed by Johnson, on a mission to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island. Vanessa Hudgens appears in the film as Hutcherson's love interest, while Kristin Davis of "Sex and the City" fame portrays his mother.

"This movie came along at a really good time," Johnson told host Chris Balish at the movie's Los Angeles premiere. "I spent the past couple of years playing some intense characters who were hunting some bad men down and doing some violent things to them, so it was a nice change of pace."

"I wanted to make a movie that was in 3D and I thought, if I was going to go back into the Family genre and make an epic adventure like this, I wanted it to feel big and special," he added.

Johnson previously starred in the fifth installment of the popular cult race franchise "The Fast and the Furious." The actor and wrestler portrayed Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs who was on the heels of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) in Rio de Janeiro. The film featured an "epic fight scene" that both Johnson and Diesel were amazed with.

While Johnson is taking a step out of his element for the family film, he also enjoyed shooting in Hawaii.

"For me, it was a very special place to shoot because I was raised in Hawaii," the California-born actor said. "So to be able to go back and bring a movie like this, this size and magnitude to Hawaii was such a cool thing, for me, personally, it was great."

Hudgens said Johnson also showcased his mellower - and musical - side in front of his co-stars.

"Dwayne was busy practicing his ukulele, which was equally as enjoyable [as Hawaii]," Hudgens told "He has mad skills and he shows it in this movie. He has a beautiful voice that he gets to showcase as well."

Johnson has also starred in films such as "The Scorpion King," "Tooth Fairy" and "Faster." He is also set to star in "Arabian Nights" as Sinbad.

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5 Questions With The Rock

5 Questions With The Rock

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The Rock on Jay Leno Video: Watch WWE Superstar Electrify the Late Show

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson: 'I Can Become President'

The grappler-turned-big screen actor told Moviefone during a recent interview that he has definite plans to enter politics at some point, and that his ambitions could reach all the way to the White House.

Also read: Dwayne Johnson Grabs a Sword for "Monster Hunter's Survival Guide"

"Right now the best way that I can impact the world is through entertainment. One day, and that day will come, I can impact the world through politics," Johnson -- whose latest film, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," opens Friday -- tells the site. "The great news is that I am American, therefore I can become President."

Also read: Dwayne Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer Get in the Ring With NBC

A farfetched notion? Maybe not so much. Fellow former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura served as the governor of Minnesota. (And then there was that former actor who did time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in the 1980s.) And, of course, Johnson has experience -- of a sort -- performing presidential duties, playing President Barack Obama (or, rather, "The Rock" Obama) on "Saturday Night Live."

Maybe he can end government gridlock with a headlock or two?

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What Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson looks for in a woman

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Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is revealing what it takes to win his heart.

The "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" star tells CNN that it's all in the potential paramour's sense of humor.

"Here's what you've got to do: you've got to be independent, and you've got to have a sense of self," Johnson, 39, says. "You've got to have a great sense of humor."

But the true test? "You've got to laugh at my jokes," he says. "Like, that's the key."

Interested ladies may have acquired the key, but they shouldn't expect the actor to lock down a relationship just yet.

"You don’t get me to settle down," he laughs. "Not me, no. I'm a rolling stone." Perhaps in a few years, ladies...

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