The Rock Comments On Hollywood Putting Him In A Box, Fighting Stereotypes, How He Measures Power, What He Wants His Legacy To Be

The Rock Comments On Hollywood Putting Him In A Box, Fighting Stereotypes, How He Measures Power, What He Wants His Legacy To Be

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The Rock is featured on the cover of Ebony‘s upcoming December 2017 / January 2018 magazine and took part in a feature interview. You can read a few excerpts and check out the cover below:

The Rock comments on being himself and avoiding the stereotypes of Hollywood:

It was the desire to make it. I never wanted to be evicted again. Making it means I could buy my mom and dad, God willing, a house because they had never lived in a house before. When you are trying to make it and you are trying to figure life out —work/life balances and what you want to become—a lot of times, we can fall into a mindset of, this was done before me like this; therefore, this is the model I have to follow. The same thing happened to me when I came to Hollywood. At that time, there was no blueprint for someone like me. There was no blueprint for a half-Black, half-Samoan pro wrestler who was a big boy. At that time, the guys who had the careers I wanted to have were Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Will Smith. They were the biggest stars on the planet. I was told, “You have to be in this box.” That box would be, “You can’t talk about wrestling anymore. Let’s transition from the moniker ‘The Rock’ to Dwayne Johnson. Let’s not go to the gym as much, even though you love it and it’s your daily anchor. Let’s make sure you are not in tank tops when doing photo shoots.”

When someone tries to put you in a box like that and you don’t know any better, it’s natural to try it out because the model has been tested, and it’s a successful, proven model. What I realized—and it took some time to realize it—was I just wasn’t being me. The essence of that is a setup for failure. That’s what happened to me. At that time, the most important thing I could be was myself. That means embracing who I am: where I come from, my name, all of the things that make me, me.

How The Rock would define power:

When I was a kid, I used to measure power by money. In my head, I always interpreted power as money. If I had money then, I could become powerful… These days, as I’ve gotten to my fourth level of life and as I experience life, divorce, death, ups and downs, I define power in two ways: the bond I have with my family and the love I have with my family. I’ve achieved this greater level of love, of what I call to powerfully love somebody. I heard that years ago, and I didn’t know what it meant. My interpretation of what it means to powerfully love somebody is to be able to love somebody with restriction, to not be fearful of being vulnerable, to accept people with everything that they are. Their good. Their bad. Their warts. Everything they come with. Accept it. Embrace it. That’s that real powerful loving place. I didn’t know what that meant until a little later in life, but I understand what that means now. The other way I would define power is by influence. You don’t have to be famous. You don’t have to be rich. Just have the ability to influence someone in a positive way.

The Rock on what he wants his legacy to be:

I think when it’s all said and done, the dust is settled and you are looking at the sunset as you’re riding off, [it’s] in the spirit of, I was able to use my influence in a positive way and make a real impact and help people make a real impact. That’s the responsibility I feel I have.