Everybody loves Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. There’s a reason America’s sweetheart has so many supporters for his “potential but probably never going to happen” presidential campaign. He’s a devoted family man, a sweet and cuddly teddy bear philanthropist, and a kick-butt wrestler action hero who has appeared in a plethora of movies.
He’s worked his way up from poverty to fame, landing at the top of two different industries. He’s a role model to us all. What’s not to love? Well, we can think of a few things…
Whether it’s using steroids in his early career or participating in horrifyingly offensive Saturday Night Live skits — The Rock has made some terrible choices on occasion. Though they tend to be overshadowed by all of his good deeds, it’s important to remember that, just like us, The Rock is a person, and people are capable of making mistakes.
With that said, here are 10 Times Dwayne Johnson Was A Sweetheart (And 10 Times He Was A Total Jerk).
20. Sweetheart: When He Sang To His Daughter On Her First Birthday
Who wouldn’t want to be sung to by Moana’s Maui himself? The Rock’s sweet baby girl certainly loved her special birthday serenade.
Johnson posted an Instagram video of himself singing “Happy Birthday” to his daughter Jasmine on her first birthday and she totally loved every second of it. Jasmine excitedly clapped her hands while her daddy sang her her birthday song. Johnson was proud to receive such an ovation from his little one.
However, when The Rock asked his daughter if he was the best daddy in the entire world she got totally distracted and failed to answer his question. Johnson might have lost his number one fan — but the former wrestler simply laughed off the slight. There’s no beef in the Johnson house.
19. Jerk: When He Made A Jab At His Fast And Furious Co-Star
Johnson shocked fans in 2016 when he let loose on his Fast And Furious co-stars. In an Instagram post during the last week of shooting Johnson accused his nameless male co-stars of being “candy a***s.” The Rock made sure to say that some of his male co-stars were stand-up guys with great morals… but not all of them.
While Johnson made sure not to name names, he also made it very clear that the identity of the aforementioned “candy a**” would be revealed from his standout angry acting in the film. He said he was truly so angry with some of his cast mates that he couldn’t hide it onscreen.
Months later The Rock doubled down on his accusations, maintaining that despite Universal Pictures obvious distaste of the comments, interest in the franchise grew after the jabs were made.
18. Sweetheart: He Loves His Grandfather A Crazy Lot
Dwayne Johnson may be an inspiration and role model for millions of fans, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his own heroes. For The Rock, there’s no greater hero than his very own grandfather.
A fellow wrestler, Johnson posthumously inducted his own grandpa, Peter Maivia, into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2008. His induction speech was sprinkled with emotional moments that nearly brought Johnson and his attending family members to tears.
Johnson continued to honor his grandfather nearly a decade later when he voiced Moana’s popular shapeshifter, Maui. The wrestler-turned-actor took to Twitter to reveal his character’s secret inspiration: his grandpa. Johnson completed his tweet with a sweet hashtag sharing how thankful he was to have his grandpa honored in the film.
17. Jerk: When He Did That Offensive SNL Skit
The Rock’s SNL stint didn’t bomb, far from it. Johnson’s episode propelled the sketch comedy show to its highest ratings in six years. However, fans were put off by one incredibly inappropriate bit.
Johnson played a mad scientist competing in the “Annual Most Evil Invention In The World Contest.” The invention? A solar-powered, inappropriate robot. As if that weren’t gross enough, the robot learns to abuse children by being abused itself, mimicking the real cycle of abuse.
Johnson’s character admits the invention was a mistake and his fellow evil scientists decry the invention… and then the whole thing ends as a weirdly confusing fake advertisement for White Castle. Despite the skit actively attempting to cut off backlash at the pass — fans were not amused by the inappropriateness of the skit.
16. Sweetheart: When Baywatch Was Filming Outside A Children’s Hospital So He Paid A Visit
Whatever your opinions of the Baywatch reboot (and those were decidedly split), you have to respect how Johnson spent his downtime while filming the movie. While filming Baywatch in front of Georgia’s Memorial Health Hospital, The Rock decided he would “pop up to the ward” and visit the juvenile patients.
Johnson shared his emotional reaction to the visits on his Instagram account. In one post he noted the incredible focus and determination of one youngster, claiming that he would have done better in school if he had had the same resolve. In another, he shared the excited reaction he received from another child fan. But The Rock wasn’t boasting, he was grateful that he was able to spread so much joy to children in need.
How did this spontaneous visit come about? A young patient’s mother begged the production staff to get Johnson to visit her son in his hospital room, as he’s a huge fan of The Rock. Naturally, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to surprise his young fan.
15. Jerk: When He Admitted To Using Steroids
Most professional sports industries have been plagued with accusations of steroid use. It isn’t often that an athlete openly admits to using illicit substances, but that’s exactly what The Rock did in 2009. Not only did Johnson admit to having used steroids years before, he revealed a very pro-steroids culture in the WWE in the 1990s.
Johnson wasn’t exactly condoning steroid use, but pointing out that the culture of the industry made it acceptable and those in authority would simply ignore the prevalent use of the drugs. Johnson went on to say that new rules and attitudes towards the drugs would need to be implemented in order to make lasting changes in the sport.
The Rock then advocated for education, especially for the youth, which makes sense when you realize that Johnson was only 18-years-old when he tried out steroids and had no idea what he was really getting into.
14. Sweetheart: When He Gave A Shout Out To A Woman In Hospice
Seventy-six year old grandma Judy Rosenberg found a way to keep her spirits up through her terminal illness: a sexy cut-out of Dwayne Johnson in his underwear kept by her hospital bed. She even held his hand.
Johnson received an email revealing Rosenberg’s massive crush on him and asking for a reply. The sweet, little grandma also requested a shout-out from Johnson and asked for The Rock to blow her some kisses and call her sexy.
So, that’s exactly what Johnson did. He made a sweet Instagram video fulfilling Rosenberg’s wish, calling her sexy and everything. He also made sure to share how very grateful he was to have received the email and claimed that those types of fan encounters were the best part of being famous.
13. Jerk: When He Spoke Out About A Pro-Trump CEO But Stayed With The Company To Sell Shoes
Johnson made sure to air his disagreement with Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank when Plank called President Trump an “asset to the country.” Johnson felt such high praise could not be abided by… but he also had some shoes to sell.
Johnson released a statement distancing himself from Plank’s comments, making sure to point out that they were not his own beliefs. However, he was very careful not to ruffle any feathers on any side.
He openly welcomed all opinions for and against Trump and went on to further distance the company itself from Plank. Johnson maintained that a CEO did not make up an entire company — giving him reason to continue selling merchandise through Under Armour. He finished by pledging loyalty to the company.
12. Sweetheart: When He Tried Candy For The First Time In 25 Years
You don’t get to be a famous wrestler and action movie hero without a strict diet and exercise routine. That’s why The Rock went over 25 years without eating candy. (To be fair, he’s always been a huge advocate of cheat days.)
He even remembered exactly what his last taste of sugar was: a Twizzler in 1989. Johnson would have been fine to continue living without the sweet stuff, but Jimmy Fallon had other ideas.
Fallon tried to tempt Johnson with a variety of candies and The Rock readily agreed to test another Twizzler… until the late night host pulled out the big guns. Fallon presented The Rock with Pop Rocks and the pair quickly agreed to eat the fizzy candies while holding a microphone to their mouths.
11. Jerk: When He Made A Jab At TWO Co-Stars Before Leaving Them Out Of A Spinoff Film
Not only did Johnson not regret his “candy a***s” rant to the Fast and Furious cast members, but he also called out his co-stars a second time only a year later. Johnson and Jason Statham were granted a spinoff, but in order to film it Fast 9 was delayed a year — immediately sparking ire with the rest of the cast.
Tyrese Gibson was especially angered by the news and took to Instagram to leave multiple rants about the situation. Gibson called Johnson a clown and publicly called the decision selfish as many of the franchise’s cast members would be left out of the film.
Johnson later posted on Instagram expressing his excitement for expanding the franchise… but leading off the post with the quote “Daddy’s gotta get back to work” probably didn’t build his castmates’ confidence.
10. Sweetheart: When He Gave His Mom The Best Life
The Rock clearly cares for his family a great deal and that love naturally extends to his mother. So, when Johnson shared a photo of his mother crying on Mother’s Day it was for the sweetest of reasons.
Mama Rock had gotten emotional when she realized the kind of lifestyle her family was now able to live. The Johnson’s had gone from being evicted from a low-income home in Hawaii to flying on private jets.
Johnson became equally emotional about his mother’s breakdown, revealing his mother’s struggle to pay bills and her worry over how to provide food for the family. Johnson reveled in his mother’s newfound happiness and security and the fact that he was able to be the one to give that to her.
9. Jerk: When He Almost Got Into A Real Fight With John Cena
Some WWE feuds may be written to cause controversy and hype up fans, but that wasn’t the case with Dwayne Johnson and John Cena. In an interview with Muscle and Fitness, The Rock dropped a major bomb: all of his beef with John Cena was totally real.
Cena had made some comments insinuating that Johnson cared more about being an actor than being a wrestler and that he no longer had any true loyalty to the WWE. Naturally, The Rock took offense to the accusations.
When asked whether or not the two had made up, Johnson admitted that they did, but that the rivalry had been very real at the time and that he had used the feud to fuel his long-awaited return to the ring.
8. Sweetheart: When He Couldn’t Visit A Make-A-Wish Kid But Made A Video Instead
When 13-year-old Hawaiian fan Taitusi made a wish to meet The Rock it came at a devastatingly bad time for Johnson. The Rock was busy filming Ballers in Las Vegas and was unable to make the meeting happen… so he made a video dedicated to Taitusi instead.
When Johnson began to talk about making the video and being unable to show up in Hawaii he became emotional and his voice caught. The Rock pointed out all of his and Taitusi’s similarities despite the distance between them — chicken, pancakes, the color red.
7. Jerk: When He Hit A Fan’s Car
To be fair, The Rock and the fan whose car he hit did become friends afterward — most people can’t resist the charms of The Rock. Johnson admitted that he had no idea he had hit Audie Bridges’ truck while on his way to the Criminal Intelligence set — he was too busy bopping and singing on his way to work.
Johnson made a U-turn and apologized to Bridges for ripping the mirror off his truck during the sideswipe before offering to pay for the damages.
It turned out, Bridges was already a huge fan of The Rock and was more interested in the awesome story he’d be able to tell people about how he met one of his idols. Johnson offered to pay for the damages but Bridges completely refused and opted to fix the mirror himself.
6. Sweetheart: When He Inadvertently Helped A Boy Save A Life
When two-year-old Dylan O’Connor nearly drowned his 10-year-old brother, Jacob leapt into action. Jacob successfully administered CPR, saving his baby brother’s life. Where did a 10-year-old boy learn CPR? From Dwayne Johnson’s film San Andreas, of course. Jacob was successful in saving his brother and baby Dylan only spent one day in the hospital.
When asked how he had learned CPR, Jacob detailed a similar scene in which Johnson’s San Andreas character saved a girl from drowning. The young fan simply mimicked what he had seen in the film.
The Rock admitted that Jacob and Dylan’s story “grabbed his heart” and that he had immense respect and admiration for Jacob. Johnson praised Jacob for remaining calm under pressure and for saving his brother’s life. He then wished he could shake the young boy’s hand.
5. Jerk: When He Humble-Bragged About His New Ferrari
Not only did The Rock talk up his new ride, he did it in one of the worst ways possible: the humble brag. Johnson talked up the car’s horsepower and rarity before dropping the price tag bombshell. The Rock’s prize Ferrari cost a cool $3-5 million. He went on to talk up his role as producer and star of HBO’s Ballers, claiming the show had given him the ability to own such wonderful toys.
However, was The Rock seriously showing off his wealth and status? Of course, he wasn’t. He was bragging about how super tall he is. Johnson admitted that the “biggest drawback” to his “sought after” plaything was the fact that he simply couldn’t fit inside it. He was just too darn big.
4. Sweetheart: When He Surprised A Combat Veteran With A New Car
When Ford awarded Marlene Rodriguez with the “Go Further” award for her time as combat veteran (she even won the Purple Heart) Johnson planned a little surprise for Rodriguez. The Rock hid backstage and watched Rodriguez give an interview about her time at war.
The veteran admitted that losing people she had cared about in combat and receiving an award didn’t feel right. Both Rodriguez and Johnson became emotional at that point, but the veteran still had no idea what was in store.
Johnson snuck up behind Rodriguez in the middle of her speaking and surprised her with tickets to see his film Baywatch. He pretended that that was the extent of her surprise, but then presented her with a “brand new 2018 Mustang.”
3. Jerk: When He Tried To Remake Big Trouble In Little China
Fans were incredibly polarized over Dwayne Johnson’s plan to star in Fox’s remake of John Carpenter’s Big Trouble In Little China. Carpenter’s 1986 film was considered such a cult classic that many were left wondering why anyone would want to mess with perfection, and Johnson admitted he had a lot of the same fears.
Johnson promised that he had nothing but respect for the film and promised to involve Carpenter in the remake. He praised the film’s crew, saying they all had great love for the original film, and said he believed that respect would aid in the reboot’s success. He went on to openly consider bringing Kurt Russell into the fold.
2. Sweetheart: When He Dressed Up As Pikachu For His Daughter
Ever the loving family man, when little baby Jasmine became obsessed with Pikachu, Johnson proved he’s willing to do anything for his darling baby girl, no matter how silly or embarrassing. The Rock got a hold of a Pikachu costume for Halloween and put on a little dance for his daughter.
Jasmine loved her dad’s performance, but that only spelled trouble for The Rock. Any time he stopped dancing Jasmine began to cry. The little Pokemon fan would grab her dad’s tail and demand more dancing. Naturally, The Rock felt compelled to cooperate with his audience’s wishes.
Despite his years of physical training and rough-and-tumble career, The Rock couldn’t hold up to the demands of a happy toddler. He was completely exhausted by the time Jasmine finally let him stop dancing.
1. Jerk: When His Ballers Show Was Sued For Plagiarism
Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg were sued over their Ballers storyline when Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton accused them of stealing their pitch. The pair claimed to have been in talks with Johnson and Wahlberg on a project they had called Off Season with an incredibly similar premise to the HBO hit.
The lawsuit claimed that Off Season’s timeline, setting, characters, and even entire scenes had been stolen.
The pair would later present a confusing statement as to how Johnson and Wahlberg first came to learn of their script, which led to judge ruling against Silas and Littleton, throwing out the potential $200 million lawsuit.
The ruling determined that there were similarities between the two projects, but that they were not unlike any other themes that might be present in a series about football.
Can you think of any other times when The Rock was a sweetheart (or a jerk)? Let us know in the comments!
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