Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has proved himself to be a highly versatile actor and performer and to celebrate the Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD release of Hercules this week we’ve compiled a list of our favourite films featuring the big man.
Let’s take a look at ten of his most significant roles (in date order)…
The Mummy Returns (2001)
The Mummy Returns was Johnson’s feature film debut where he made a brief appearance as The Scorpion King. Whilst he didn’t get much screen time, it was a significant role and great platform for him to launch his Hollywood career.
The success of the movie led to his first leading role in the spin-off The Scorpion King and Johnson was listed by Guinness World Records as the highest paid actor in his first lead role.
Interesting Fact: Johnson’s only spoken lines are in Ancient Egyptian. Loosely translated, the line ‘Haku Machente’ means ‘It’s hot as hell.’
The Scorpion King (2002)
The Scorpion King was the prequel to The Mummy Returns which explored how the character rose from being a simple mercenary to a king. The film played to Johnson’s strengths, combining full on-action sequences and showcasing his talent for comedy.
Interesting Fact: Director Chuck Russell was keen to incorporate a physical manoeuvre in the film which only Johnson could perform. There is a scene where he springs to his feet from lying on his back. Russell said that he had never seen a six foot man do that.
The Rundown (2003)
The Rundown was a smart, funny buddy-action film and to many it was the film that really cemented Johnson as a versatile action-comedy actor. Johnson formed a fantastically funny comedy duo with his co-star Sean William Scott (American Pie).
Interested Fact: Johnson’s stunt double was his cousin Tanoai Reed who has worked with him on numerous action films since.
Gridiron Gang (2006)
Gridiron Gang was Johnson’s first purely dramatic role. The film was based on true events, the story of Sean Porter (Johnson) who created a football league at his youth detention centre. The film made good use of Johnson’s natural charisma and he was praised for his nuanced performance.
Interested Fact: During a practice scene in the film, Johnson is seen wearing the number 94 on his shirt, the same number he wore at his real life college team the Miami Hurricanes.
Be Cool (2005)
Be Cool was the follow up to Get Shorty with John Travolta reprising the lead role. Whilst the film may not have been a critical success, it featured one of Johnson’s most memorable performances. He played Elmore Wilhelm, a flamboyant body guard who dreamed of stardom.
Interesting Fact: In the scene where Elliot (Johnson) is chasing Raji (Vince Vaughn) around the car, most of the scene was improvised. At the end, when Raji says “E. Weasy” and dances, the camera moves back and you can see Elliot (Johnson) smiling.
The Other Guys (2010)
The Other Guys is a brilliant parody of 80s and 90s buddy cop movies starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Johnson stars alongside Samuel L. Johnson as the most hilariously OTT and macho cops on the squad.
Interesting Fact: The film features subtle cameos from Brooke Shields, Tracy Morgan and Rosie Perez.
Fast Five (2011)
Fast Five shook up the traditional Fast and Furious formula and pitted Johnson as a charismatic villain against regulars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. Johnson played DEA Agent Hobbs who follows the team in Rio Janeiro as they pursue a massive heist in the hope of buying their freedom.
Interesting Fact: The movie features the following cars…Acura NSX, 1970 Dodge Charger, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, Ford GT40, Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, De Tomaso Pantera GT5-S, Custom Truck, Armet Gurkha F5, Ford Galaxie 500 XL, Ducati Streetfighter, Porsche 911 Carrera, Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, Nissan 370z, Dodge Chargers, Charger SRT-8, Dodge Challenger SRT-8, Nissan GT-R, Lexus LFA, Koenigsegg CCXR.
Pain and Gain (2013)
Pain and Gain was directed by Michael Bay and marked a serious departure from his usual flashy, big budget features of recent years. Johnson stars alongside Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie as a Miami bodybuilder determined to pursue the American dream at all costs.
Interesting Fact: Johnson bulked up nearly 300 pounds for his role in the movie.
Fast and Furious 6 (2013)
The sixth movie in the Fast and Furious franchise reunited Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Johnson as Agent Hobbs. Johnson relished his role as an antagonist to the rest of the characters and proved there was still plenty of life and fun left in the franchise.
Interesting Fact: 100+ cars were wrecked in the process of filming
Johnson is perfectly cast as the mighty Hercules in this thrilling story of fearlessness, courage and heroism. Johnson is supported by a stellar cast which includes Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Sewell and John Hurt.
Interesting Fact: To prepare for the role of Hercules, Johnson took on a gruelling training regime lasting eight months. Shooting a scene where Hercules is chained up Johnson stated that he ‘blacked out’ after every take: “I asked the prop department to lock me in real steel chains that I couldn’t break, so the performance would be real.”
HERCULES is out on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD now