21 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About The Rock

Despite the fact that his Instagram handle is @therock, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson no longer goes by his former wrestling alter ego. If that's the case, then who is The Rock? Or rather, who is Dwayne Johnson? Both personas make up a part of the blockbuster actor's newfound Hollywood fame. If it weren't for his quotable catchphrases and comedically menacing intimidation tactics in the WWE, would Dwayne Johnson be the talented actor he is today? Although they are both the same man, it is necessary to look at Dwayne Johnson's biography as a split between his time as The Rock and his time as, well, himself. 

It's no doubt that The Rock/Dwayne Johnson has had a very unique experience navigating through the WWE to unprecedented Hollywood stardom. And while The Rock is history, it appears as though Dwayne Johnson is just getting started with his time in the spotlight. Racking up over 20 films since being discovered for his comedic chops as a guest spot on a Saturday night sketch show, Johnson has proved a surprisingly versatile professional.

Read on for the most fascinating facts about The Rock... er, Dwayne Johnson.

  • His Role in Fast & Furious Was Originally Intended for Tommy Lee Jones

    His Role in Fast & Furious Was Originally Intended for Tommy Lee Jones
    Photo: Universal Pictures / via universalpictures.com
    Before Dwayne Johnson took over the character of Luke Hobbs in Fast Five, the role was initially supposed to go to someone VERY different. Tommy Lee Jones, of all people, was originally slated to be cast as badass Hobbs. However, at that point in conception, Jones's version of Hobbs was supposed to be quite different from the end result (i.e., old and grumpy). But when Vin Diesel saw a random fan comment on a Fast & Furious thread suggesting they cast The Rock for a role, he was inspired to make that a reality. Diesel pleaded with the producers to write the role for Johnson instead.
  • His Acting Career Started with Saturday Night Live

    His Acting Career Started with Saturday Night Live
    Photo: NBC / via nbc.com

    Who would have thought that The Rock would be cut out for comedy? But when he was invited to host Saturday Night Live back in 2000, Johnson jumped at the opportunity. After he received the invitation, he was like, "Bring it on! I get to wear a dress and do comedy? Sure, easy." And his comedic chops definitely came naturally, as The Rock shone onstage. The former wrestler even credits his debut on SNL as the start of his successful acting career. It wasn't until after the episode that he started receiving offers to star in films. 

  • And He's Actually the First Athlete to Host SNL Twice

    And He's Actually the First Athlete to Host SNL Twice
    Photo: NBC / via nbc.com
    Since his debut, The Rock has hosted SNL on three other occasions. In fact, he's the only pro-athlete to host the show more than twice. In 2009, The Rock shed his wrestler name and made his first appearance on the sketch show as Dwayne Johnson.
  • He Used to Be in a Theft Ring

    Johnson had some ups and downs while growing up in Hawaii. In 2014, he opened up about his past arrests in connection to a gang-related theft ring. The Rock described to Muscle and Fitness magazine how he used to steal high-end products during tourist season. After a few run-ins with the law, Johnson vowed to turn his life around and invested in body training. He has attributed his training to helping with his depression at the time.  
  • Before Wrestling, He Wanted to Play Football

    Prior to the wrestling career which skyrocketed his fame, The Rock actually preferred to play football. Following high school, Johnson was recruited by The University of Miami to as a defensive lineman. Going by the nickname "Dewey," Johnson played for the Hurricane's throughout college, although not very often. Despite his large build, football just wasn't for him.
  • He Added a Word to the Dictionary

    An electric and unforgettable night. #ThankYouWWEUniverse #1Luv #PeoplesChamp4L #Miami

    A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

    In 2007, Merriam-Webster added the word "smackdown" to the dictionary, a phrase inspired by the WWF before it was the WWE. But few people know that the phrase was actually first coined by The Rock, 20 years before the word would be deemed official. The WWE has credited The Rock for putting "smackdown" into wrestling vocabulary, and now into your everyday dictionary.