While professional wrestlers trying their hand at acting in Hollywood is a phenomenon going back many decades, most of the time said wrestlers don’t end up experiencing the success they hoped for, leading to a retreat back to the ring. This has been true of stars as big as Hulk Hogan, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and Terry Funk. Even those who are persistent, and end up landing acting regular work – such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Kevin Nash – are usually relegated to either small supporting roles in blockbusters or leads in direct-to-video action flicks.
The one man to truly break that mold has been Dwayne Johnson, or as he’ll always be best known to wrestling fans, The Rock. While his early years in Hollywood were a bit bumpy, Johnson never gave up, and is now one of the biggest stars in the world. Movies featuring Johnson have now earned over $2 billion domestically and a staggering $6 billion worldwide, making the multi-time WWE World Champion one of the most sought after actors in the business.
Of course, an important thing to remember is that Johnson is arguably the most successful black pro wrestler ever to lace up and the boots, and will likely also go down as one of the most famous black actors of the modern era. Thus, it’s no surprise that at Saturday night’s 2017 NAACP Image Awards ceremony, Johnson received a high honor, being recognized as the Entertainer of the Year for 2016. Johnson beat out music superstar Beyonce for the award, who herself claimed the most awards of the night, with 5 wins. Suicide Squad’s Viola Davis, The Leftovers’ Regina King, and Chance the Rapper were also nominated.
Some other big winners at the 2017 Image Awards include Hidden Figures for best film, Black-ish for best TV show, and Donald Glover for his work directing episodes of FX’s acclaimed new series Atlanta. Also, Taraji P. Henson managed to pull off the impressive feat of winning the awards for both best actress in a film for Hidden Figures, and best actress in a drama series for FOX hit Empire.
While winning an NAACP Image Award is no doubt a great way for the once and future Rock to begin 2017, it’s only the start to what will be an extremely busy year for Johnson, who stars in no less than 3 big franchise releases. In April, Johnson is set to kick ass in The Fate of the Furious, in May, he’ll take over for David Hasselhoff in the Baywatch movie, and in December, he heads to Jumanji. It’ll be interesting to see if audiences still smell what The Rock is cookin’, but at this point, there is little reason to doubt that they will.
Source: The Wrap