There’s one thing even the most diehard Dwayne Johnson fans will never see the actor do in a film, thanks to a landmark clause included in each of the star’s acting contracts.
After graduating from high school, Dwayne Johnson attended the University of Miami, where he played college football and, in 1991, was a part of the University’s national championship team. Upon graduation, he began to play for the Canadian Football League, but just two months into his first season, Johnson was cut from the team. It was then that he decided to be a professional wrestler like his grandfather and father before him.
A Championship Career From the Beginning
In the world of professional wrestling, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson quickly rose to super-stardom, becoming one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE. He also quickly became one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, winning a long list of championships and awards–among them, the titles of ten-time world champion and two-time Intercontinental Champion, as well as the 2000 Royal Rumble winner and the WWE’s sixth Triple Crown Champion.
But after having the opportunity to play the role of the Scorpion King opposite actor Brendan Fraser in The Mummy Returns (2001), Johnson’s focus began to shift. Though he didn’t officially retire from the ring until much later, the championship wrestler had a taste–and apparently a talent–for acting, and Hollywood became his focal point. In 2002, Johnson starred in a spinoff film, again playing the role of the Scorpion King in the film of the same name.
Still Winning Outside the Ring
Dwayne Johnson currently ranks among the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, and has continued building his career in Hollywood for more than 20 years, having starred in films like DOOM (2005), The Game Plan (2007), Get Smart (2008), Race to Witch Mountain (2009), Tooth Fairy (2010), Moana (2016), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), Jungle Cruise (2021) and many others.
He’s best known for embodying the character of Luke Hobbs in the Fast and the Furious film series, and this holiday season, The Red One, starring Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans, will debut on Amazon Prime. Johnson’s upfront payout for the starring role broke all the previous records in Hollywood.
Earning $50 million before the film was even completed securely lands the 6-foot-four, 275-pound actor in the #1 spot for the actor with the highest-ever upfront payday in a film role and makes it clear that Dwayne Johnson can do just about anything. From wrestling to acting to producing to conducting smooth and highly lucrative business transactions, The Rock seems to have the Midas touch.
Winning in Business Deals Too
But there’s one thing Dwayne Johnson cannot (and will not) do, and thanks to a carefully worded clause in each of his acting contracts, he won’t ever have to.
Though Johnson has played multiple roles that focus less on his tough side–think Disney’s The Tooth Fairy (2010) and Moana (2016)–the majority of the former wrestler’s acting roles make good use of his build and his tough-guy attitude and stance. And because of his history as a professional wrestler, he took note of things on the set of films in which he embraced his wrestling side–and decided to make some changes.
Dwayne Johnson’s most notable role is that of Agent Luke Hobbs in the Fast and Furious film franchise. In those films, which are action-packed, fast-paced movies, the most common and recurring scenes throughout the franchise are the fight scenes. And fans will notice another common occurrence in the films: Dwayne Johnson never loses a fight.
Thanks to a clause in each contract Johnson signs, the former wrestler gets to keep his title of “champion,” even when fighting in the streets in a Fast and Furious film. Not only does the clause keep Johnson’s character from losing a fight, but it also limits just how beat up his character can be at the hands of his opponent.
“According to producers and crew members on the films, [Johnson’s Fast and Furious co-star Jason Statham] negotiated an agreement with the studio that limits how badly he can be beaten up on screen,” reads a post at The Wall Street Journal.
Johnson wanted the same type of clause in his contract, and, according to the post, the actor brings together a team of producers, editors, and fight choreographers who work together to “make sure he always gives as good as he gets.”
So there is something Dwayne Johnson can’t do, after all.