Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson says he's strongly considering running for President of the United States in 2024. Not too long ago, the chances of a high-profile celebrity actually winning the presidency would have seemed slim. While Ronald Reagan was famously an actor before becoming POTUS, his Hollywood career had long-since ended by the time he took the oath of office, and he was by then much better known for his success in politics than on the screen. Yet, the idea of a Rock presidency doesn't seem too far-fetched now, with former reality TV host Donald Trump having won the 2016 election without any political experience.
When it comes to hypothetical celebrity candidates, The Rock has been at or near the top of most lists since a summer 2016 Washington Post article noted Johnson's seeming willingness to consider politics in the future, and went as far as to say that the former People's Champion could win the 2016 presidential election if he chose to get in the race before the deadline to make it onto the ballot. At the time, Johnson thanked the paper for their vote for confidence, but downplayed the possibility.
In May of this year though, The Rock told GQ that his ultimately deciding to run for president was a "real possibility." Now, the Fast and Furious franchise star tells Variety, that he's giving "realistic consideration" to mounting a presidential campaign in 2024. While this would mean that he wouldn't end up running against Donald Trump - as some of his fans have hoped would happen - Johnson says that his acting slate is just too full right now to make 2020 a viable option. Here's his full quote:
"I couldn’t do both. Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020, the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024. [...] I knew I had to listen to the people and really, really think about it. That’s where I’m at right now — I’m well aware politics is not the business I’m in, so the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can. I’m continuing to watch our presidency and watch how every new development is handled. I continue to watch our leaders in government, and like all Americans, I continue to be hopeful that our leaders exhibit poise, perspective and the ability to bring our country together during these tough times — which I don’t feel our presidency is currently doing — so that’s where I’m at.”
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is 45-years-old, which would put him at 52 by the 2024 presidential race. That's actually on the lower end of the age scale for most candidates, so that aspect shouldn't be cause for concern. It would also give Johnson the opportunity to spend the next several years learning more about how government works, knowledge he could use to counteract attacks from opponents about his absence of political experience. It remains to be seen what banner Johnson would run under. He's appeared at both Democratic and Republican conventions in the past, but now says he's a registered independent. Details on his actual political positions are also unclear.
One current topic Johnson did discuss with Variety is the recent wave of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against elite Hollywood figures that have in many cases exposed decades-long patterns of abuse. For his part, The Rock didn't mince words about how he feels about Hollywood's predators: "I’ve shaken the hands of a few of these men, and I want to choke them out, but it’s important to stay poised right now and keep that in mind." It'll be awhile before anyone knows for sure, but it'll be interesting to see if America's electorate will end up smelling what The Rock is cookin' in 2024.