During the promotion tour for his movie “Tooth Fairy,” someone asked Dwyane Johnson if he has plans of returning to the wrestling ring.
“Absolutely,” the 37-year-old told the Ottawa Sun (linked here). “The goal is to go back and do something special. I talked to (WWE chief) Vince (McMahon) a couple of months ago and we’re trying to come up with something. After I wrap (filming his next movie) ‘Faster,’ maybe in the summer I can go back.”
“Faster,” a movie with Billy Bob Thornton and Salma Hayek where Johnson plays an ex-con out to avenge his brother’s death after they were double-crossed during a heist, is actually slated to come out after a film that’s in post production called “The Other Guys,” where Johnson teams with Samuel L. Jackson as New York cops trying to teach the ropes to Will Ferrell and Mark Walhberg.
It’s tough enough for us to handle the tooth of “Tooth Fairy,” and thinking how someone his size (6-foot-4, 260-pound) would be able to keep his balance on the ice without much prep work. After all, he grew up in Hawaii without much ice around him.
After finding out about his use of stunt doubles and hidden wires — and his love interest in the movie, Ashley Judd — we continue a Q-and-A that we started in today’s newspaper column (linked here):
Q: Did you ever injure yourself in the middle of a wrestling match but had to keep going?
A: “I tore my PCL once when I wrestling Mick Foley. Anytime you’re with a guy like that who does crazy stuff, I just had to keep going. I guess it wasn’t too bad.”
Q: After growing up in Pennsylvania and playing in that football hot-bed during high school, what was the college football experience like for you?
A: “There were a lot of different reasons why Miami attracted me. It was a program that was very brash, I came in with that attitude. When I got there in 1990, we took a lot of pride in talking trash, playing brash, dancing, doing all that stuff. Playing in the Orange Bowl was also very unique, very special. It was old and it creaked, but it was a special place.
“I was fortunate to play in almost all the bowls, starting with the Cotton Bowl, Orange Sugar and Fiesta. In the ’93 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, we lost to Alabama for the national championship (34-13 loss, ending a 29-game winnning streak). I got in a couple plays when they let the young dogs out. I’ll never forget that play when George Teague took the ball from one of our receivers, Lamar Thomas, and ran it back for a touchdown.
“The injuries I had in my senior year, two ruptured discs, made me very unproductive. I didn’t get drafted. That was the year Warren Sapp took my place and really took off. Dennis Erickson was my coach then, and I had Randy Shannon and Tommy Tubberville as my defensive coaches. It was a great time, with Gino Toretta, Gene Costa and Ryan Collins as our quarterbacks.”
Q: What sports are you most into watching when you get a chance:
A: “I love mixed martial arts and if I could go to a football game, I’d do it, but generally I try to avoid crowds. I’m usually watching at home or buying a big pay-per-view event.”
Q: Do you still get comments about your performance in ‘Gridiron Gang’ (linked here) and what that movie meant to the kids playing high school football at Camp Kilpatrick?
A: “That was a great movie and I enjoyed that. Again, there’s so much about the story of Sean Porter and the Stanleys, some unsung heroes. There are Sean Porters working in all areas and places like that. It was an honor to make it. It was great to shoot that movie there and talk to the kids every day. You want a movie like that to be a commercial success, but we knew it wasn’t going to light the world on fire in terms of box office. It was small. But I still get a lot of people, mostly parents, who thank me for making it. They are kids in trouble — I was one of them, getting arrested when I was that age. It was important to tell that story.”
Q: You have an executive producer credit for a documentary called ‘Racing Dreams’ (IMDB.com link here) about the culture of go-kart racing … what’s the status of that?
A: “It never got distributed nationally, but it did make it to Tribeca. It’s a wonderful movie where we followed three families around with kids about 13, 14 years old. I’ve had a couple of buddies involved in NASCAR, but I was not exposed to that culture of racing — especially that subculture of how important it is within the families to do well. They had already shot it and were looking for more funding, so I got on board with my partner — my ex-wife — and it turned out to be a pretty cool documentary. I think it resonates with young people who have this desire to do something great. I’m sure you’ll see it around somewhere.”
Q: Would you like to get involved in any future sports movies, or do you reach an age where you can’t do that anymore?
A: “When do a couple and have some success, then more offers start coming. There aren’t any on the horizon, but if there’s a sports story that’s moving and inspiring, I’d be happy to do it. The great thing about sports is that it’s always inspiring.”
Q: After doing this movie, do you plan on playing any hockey?
A: “I can appreciate the game from a different perspectve, completely different. And I understand their passion. But in terms of getting on the ice, I highly doubt I’ll be I in any celebrity games. I won’t fool ’em.”
== To the official “Tooth Fairy” movie site (linked here)
== To his appareance at Saturday’s Kings-Bruins game at Staples Center, to help his The Rock Foundation (linked here)
== A recent interview with Parade magazine (linked here)