Adrian Groulx and the young Dwayne Johnson and Matthew Willig as Andre the Giant in “Young Rock”.
Mark Taylor / NBC
Dwayne Johnson is proud of his belt bag.
Johnson, also known as The Rock, a nickname he adopted as a professional wrestler, posted a picture on Twitter of himself trying to look cool while wearing a decidedly uniform accessory – a belt pouch.
Dwayne Johnson carries a belt bag.
Dwayne Johnson / Twitter.
But now, years after this photo was taken, Johnson has made good use of his fashion faux pas – he used it to sell a TV show about his life and show viewers how he became The Rock.
“That was the entire pitch of the show. It was just me and the fanny pack and NBC said, “We’re in. That’s all we need Now let’s work backwards from there, “jokes Johnson.
He adds, “The truth is that, in addition to the belt pouch that is part of the pitch, when we creatively realized what we thought was a pretty decent path that might appeal to our audience, we went in, hit and luckily I mean, really, it was – you know, within about 10 minutes the meeting stopped and they said, “There’s something really unique here and we’re in and now we’re continuing to work on it.”
From this meeting came the series Young Rock, which takes a comedic look at Johnson’s life during his formative years. The focus of the show is Johnson, who grew up in a resilient family, surrounded by all the wild characters of professional wrestling, played football at the University of Miami and became who he is today.
The narrative of the series shows Johnson at times that he considers very decisive – at 10, 15 and 18 years of age. To achieve this, Johnson’s character is played by three different young actors.
Johnson, who lived in 13 different states and New Zealand when he was 13, says the show isn’t just about his unconventional upbringing, it’s also a “real love letter to professional wrestling.”
“I learned some of my most valuable, if very unorthodox, lessons [from] the world of pro wrestling. To be able to highlight and showcase these men who were essentially my superheroes. [is great]. And in many ways, this is the first time you’ve seen these wrestlers portrayed in prime time. “
Wrestlers he mentions include The Iron Sheik, André the Giant, and Junkyard Dog.
As someone who is half Samoan and half black, Johnson says showing diversity on the show was important because “it’s authentic and it’s my life and it’s who I am.”
Johnson ponders what the show did for him in terms of self-reflection: “The show really made it possible for me to appreciate these tough times so much more.”
He hopes his story will make audiences feel, “We are all going through these tough times.
And sometimes when you’re at it, you’re in the bubble. Sometimes when you see someone go through it it’s almost like taking this kaleidoscope and you just click on it a couple of times and you see something from a different perspective. “
For example, how a fanny pack can be really cool.
‘Young Rock’ airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.