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Dwayne Johnson Climbs a Skyscraper!

July 09, 2018

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By: Lynn Barker

In Skyscraper, super hot star Dwayne Johnson plays amputee, war vet and former hostage team rescue leader Will Sawyer who currently figures out security for skyscrapers. While in China, he finds the world’s tallest and supposedly safest building, called The Pearl, on fire and Will has been framed for setting the blaze. If this wasn’t bad enough, while on the run, he has to find out who framed him and also save his family trapped in the building above the fire line!  This is a job that only the Rock could take on.

Will must rescue his familyWill must rescue his familyCourtesy of Universal Studios

Dwayne welcomed the challenge of playing a guy who is physically challenged and barely hanging on. It’s a big change from his usual beyond-physically-competent roles. He consulted with a real amputee and was determined to portray his amputee character correctly to pay tribute to all those who face a similar physical challenge.

Dwayne describes the film as Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno and The Fugitive. Let him tell us why he was attracted to the role and what his hopes are for the film.

Q: Why were you drawn to make this film?

  • Dwayne: This film is easily, the most physically demanding role I’ve ever played. The number-one anchor with audiences all around the world is the bond of family.  Regardless of race or culture or class or religion, the ideology of family is one everyone relates to. There’s something very visceral about a family being torn apart, and the parents doing everything they can to protect their young.  That’s always been a special anchor for us in Skyscraper, and for us to explore this on the canvas of film makes it so relevant to people.

Will (Dwayne) reaches wife Sarah (Neve Campbell)Will (Dwayne) reaches wife Sarah (Neve Campbell)Courtesy of Universal Studios

Q: Can you talk about the relationship between your character Will and his wife Sarah?

  • Dwayne: The bond that Will has with Sarah is a very strong bond. They were bonded by an extreme circumstance that takes place at the beginning of the movie. They’re married, have children and are very happy. Like a lot of marriages out there, it goes through its ups and downs but, at its core, is something very special. Also, at its core each of them leans on the other. She’s an amazing wife Will is able to lean on.

Will and wife Sarah in happy timesWill and wife Sarah in happy timesCourtesy of Universal Studios

Q: Neve Campbell plays Sarah. We haven’t seen her on the big screen in a while. She’s been doing television.

  • Dwayne: I think Neve is perfect for this role. It’s an honor to have Neve back on the big screen and for Skyscraper to be her foray back into Hollywood.

The amazing building The PearlThe amazing building The PearlCourtesy of Universal Studios

Q: Was there someone you consulted about being an amputee so that you would get the character just right?

  • Dwayne: Yes. Paralympian Jeff Glasbrenner who lost his legs at 8-years-old. I had an opportunity to read Jeff’s book and study him. He was an incredible resource, and it was a proud, honored day for all of us to have Jeff on set for the very first time.  I felt like we had an opportunity here to create a character that people around the world could relate to and could get behind.

Trying to hang onTrying to hang onCourtesy of Universal Studios

Q: Did he advise you on how a person with a prosthetic leg walks and moves?

  • Dwayne: Yeah. (I worked on it) then sought out Jeff after that and asked him what he thought.  Thankfully, he was blown away.  He said, ‘Holy s%$@, man.  That’s exactly how I run.’  It was a special day and a cool moment; I just I hope to do right by Jeff and this character.

Will (Dwayne) desperately climbs the buildingWill (Dwayne) desperately climbs the buildingCourtesy of Universal Studios

Q: Was getting the details right difficult?

  • Dwayne: Well, there’s a lot of things I had to keep in mind playing an amputee, thinking about that every second of every frame of every action of every moment, what that looks like and psychologically, what that feels like; walking, there’s a certain hitch in my step, a certain gait that these individuals go through.

Dwayne on setDwayne on setCourtesy of Universal Studios

Q: How were your fights with Pablo Schreiber who plays a baddie. He’s a pretty large fellow as well.

  • Dwayne: I really enjoyed fighting with Pablo who is a fantastic actor. I met him for the first time and realized he is a big (dude)!  I don’t often look up a bit at guys but I looked up at Pablo and that immediately informed what kind of fight that was going to be. (He laughs) He puts my head through a TV, he takes my (prosthetic) leg off, he puts me through a wall.

Wife Sarah and family hope for rescueWife Sarah and family hope for rescueCourtesy of Universal Studios

Q: How would you describe Skyscraper for audiences?

  • Dwayne: At the end of the day we wanted to make a movie about a man who around every corner, in every scenario in this movie, was barely surviving but every inch of his fiber, his soul, his DNA, won’t let him quit, won’t let him stop. He just keeps going.

Courtesy of Universal Studios

See Skyscraper in theaters Friday, July 13th

Have Your Say

Are you a Dwayne Johnson action movie fan? Would you like to see him play a character overcoming physical limitations for a change? Leave a comment below!