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Dwayne Johnson is CIA

Jun 15, 2016

By: Lynn Barker

In Central Intelligence, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson plays a hot CIA agent once very overweight and the target for school bullies. He now needs the help of the grown up version of the only kid in high school who ever defended him, a top jock played by Kevin Hart. Now, tables are turned and Hart is clueless and physically unfit to work a case at Dwayne’s side. This makes for some great comedy moments.

Dwayne met with press recently to talk his own high school experiences, bullying, working with Kevin Hart and more. Check it out!

Just chill KevinJust chill KevinCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: What were you like in high school?

  • Dwayne: In my freshman and sophomore year in high school I spent a lot of time trying to get back on the right track. I was arrested multiple times by the time I was 16 so I had a little harder time trying to adjust, like a lot of us do during high school. It wasn’t until I got involved in sports, athletics, that it gave me a focus and a reason to do the things I was doing.
  • By the end of my high school years, by the time I was a senior, ready to go to college, I was lucky I got a full scholarship. I was the only one in my family that got to go to college. I was very successful by the time I left high school. I went to the University of Miami and won a national championship. When I was 24, I was the youngest WWE wrestler.

At their class reunionAt their class reunionCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Cool! What did high school do for you for the rest of your life?

  • Dwayne: I think high school years are defining for everyone. You’re coming into adolescence. That’s where you start to be defined and start to understand yourself and who you are and, hopefully, accept yourself. If you’re like me, it takes a little while to accept yourself. Being the man, and then getting out and then 10 or 20 years later wishing you were someone else. You’re not quite happy with all the things around you. Oftentimes, much later, something can happen in your life, an anchoring moment years later where you realize, “I’ve got it pretty good. I’m blessed. I’ve got a lot of good things”.
  • When Kevin and I sat down with Rawson (Marshall Thurber, the director), we talked about embracing who you are and understanding the blessings you really do have. You can lose track of that when you’re on the treadmill of life. Things are going so fast but sometimes you have to slow down and look around.

Dwayne in actionDwayne in actionCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How was the mood on the set?

  • Dwayne: Kevin (Hart) and Rawson made it easy. We just went and played and had fun.

Dwayne tells Kevin this will be fun!Dwayne tells Kevin this will be fun!Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Were you ever bullied in school?

  • Dwayne: I wasn’t bullied in high school but I was bullied in junior high school (Middle school). There was an incidence that happened where I thought I was fighting one kid and then I got jumped by a gang, but I stood up for myself. I hit that kid so hard after he bullied me all summer at summer camp. And then I ran so fast. But it was a good life lesson. I ran all the way home. I ran out of my shoes!
  • I was 11 years old. He was in high school. When I got in the house my mom said, “What’s going on? Where are you shoes?” And I said, “Oh, I left them.”  So she made me get in the car and drove me back to the camp and made me go find (the bully) and made me work it out with him. What she was trying to teach me is that if you get into a situation like this, don’t run away. You have to stand up for yourself and communicate.

Q: What was it like working with Kevin Hart?

  • Dwayne: I was impressed with Kevin. I was following him on social media before we met, before this movie came about. When we had our very first meeting, I told him that I was impressed with him. The success is one thing but he also makes people feel good. It’s just a cool thing to make people feel good and to make them laugh. But he also works very hard. That was something I really appreciate about him.
  • For a star at his level, because he’s a massive star, and often times, when you get around other stars, it’s not as easy and as free. There’s sizing up and comparing yourself to other actors. When I met Kevin, he said, “I want to go global. Take me with you.” He literally said that, “Take me with you. Let’s do it together.” And I was like, “Great!” All jokes aside, I can’t say enough great things about the guy.

Gun? Do I need a gun?Gun? Do I need a gun?Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: Was it challenging to balance the comedy with the action? It’s also a mystery whether you’re a good or bad guy.

  • Dwayne: Rawson was like “Let’s try to make people believe that you may be a bad guy. You could be the Black Badger”.

Q: What was your favorite scene?

  • Dwayne: My favorite scene was in Dr. Dan’s office where we play the soul gaze/slap game. You can’t look away or you get slapped. I could not stop laughing. You see that in the outtakes. That was Day 1 (of shooting).

New old friends celebrateNew old friends celebrateCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: How about wearing the funny pajamas?

  • Dwayne: I had to put them on and then they had to sew the seams around me. I was like, “Are you sure this is going to look OK?” And they were like, “Yeah, looks great!” With you wife or girlfriend or husband, or whatever it is, play that game, soul gazing, where you can’t look away and you can’t talk. Anyone who looks away, boom. I’m telling you, you’ll love it.

Kevin plays an accountantKevin plays an accountantCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Q: What’s coming up? You have a documentary about youth?

  • Dwayne: We’ve partnered up with HBO and Sheila Nevins and my production company, Seven Bucks Productions. It’s going nicely. We have a documentary called “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” There’s a very special boot camp prison in Florida that has a high success rate. It’ll be coming out around (film) festival time.

Central Intelligence PosterCentral Intelligence PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Central Intelligence is in theaters this Friday, June 17th!


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