After building a brand as WWE superstar “The Rock,” there was a short time more than a decade ago when the entertainer dropped the famous moniker and went by his birth name, Dwayne Johnson.
“I was told at [one] time, ‘Listen, you can’t talk about wrestling. You can’t go by The Rock. You can’t be as big [in physique],'” Johnson tells Jamie Foxx on the upcoming episode of his digital series Off Script, created by Grey Goose, an exclusive clip of which you can see above. But that change in identity didn’t last long. “I was tired of trying to be something I wasn’t.”
The name switch came before the release of 2005’s Southland Tales, when his star outside the wrestling ring was on the rise. But eventually, Johnson says, he felt like he wasn’t being true to himself — or to the people who helped get him where he was: his fans.
“It’s the most important relationship I have,” the star of this weekend’s Skyscraper shares with Foxx about his supporters. “So finally I reached a point where I said, ‘Alright, two things have to happen: I’m gonna surround myself with a different group of people, different management, and then I’m gonna make sure that I just gotta be me.”
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It’s one of the many topics Johnson discusses with Foxx — he also reveals his biggest influences (including another big action star, Harrison Ford); when his family had to leave Hawaii and settled in Nashville, Tenn.; and why it’s so important to him to be nice to people.
Watch the video above for more, and check out the full episode of Off Script when it premieres July 12.