For many of his fans, it is unimaginable that Dwayne Johnson, formerly “The Rock” of World Wide Wrestling fame, could ever have been the subject of bullying.
However, in discussing his role opposite Kevin Hart in his new action comedy “Central Intelligence,” Johnson revealed that when he was 11-years-old, he spent one long summer camp where he was in exactly this position – thanks to one very singularly focused high school student and his friends.
Seeing what ultimately happened as a result of that summer became an important core experience for Johnson, and the physically imposing star had a lot to pull from when it came to embodying Bob.
The character is an overcompensating formerly unpopular kid who has refashioned himself into a lethal CIA agent, when he reunites with Kevin Hart’s more popular character, Calvin, at what proves to be a fateful high school reunion.
“Yeah, I was bullied,” revealed Johnson. “I thought I was fighting one kid and I got jumped by a gang,” said Johnson, of his junior high experience. “I hit that kid so hard after he was bullying me all summer and then I ran so fast. But it was a good life lesson for me.”
The life lesson was that when he ran home – so fast that Johnson ran out straight out of his shoes – Johnson’s mother was alarmed. She was not worried about the loss of the shoes or the fact that Johnson had hit his attacker.
She did not like the fact that he had decided to run away from the problem itself.
“(My mother) made me get in the car, drove me back to summer camp, made me go find him and basically made me work it out with him. But the morale of her story, the lesson was, get in the situation, but don’t you ever run from anybody. She was like, stand up for yourself,” stated Johnson.
“Central Intelligence” starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Aaron Paul, Amy Ryan and Danielle Nicolet opens in theaters nationwide on June 17, 2016.