Dwayne Johnson has always been larger than life. This 6'4'' athlete walked on to the University of Miami football team and played defensive tackle for their national championship team in 1991. Then, Dwayne ditched the knee pads and helmet for a career as a professional wrestler. That's when his alter ego—The Rock—was born.
After gaining worldwide recognition as a wrestler, Hollywood came calling. In 2002, Dwayne landed the starring role in The Scorpion King and received the largest salary ever for an actor in his first lead role. Since then, Dwayne has branched out beyond action movies and starred in comedies and family favorites like The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain and, his latest, Tooth Fairy. Worldwide, Dwayne's movies have grossed $1.5 billion.
When he was in his early 20s, Dwayne says he only had $7 in his pocket, but that didn't stop him from setting lofty goals. "One was to buy my parents a house. We had never lived in a house before," he says. "The other one was to marry Dany, who was my college sweetheart. We married and wound up getting a divorce, but now we're business partners and we're very, very close. The other one was to pay off all debt. The other one was to graduate. And the other one was to take care of my grandmother's situation. At that time, my grandmother didn't have a place to live."
Over the years, Dwayne says he accomplished all of these goals…and then some! "There's a quote that I grew up with, and it was, 'If you've ever been hungry, then you'll never be full,'" he says.
Now, this athlete-turned-action-star has a new goal—to help people who don't know anything about sports sound knowledgeable when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around.
The 2010 NFL championship game airs Sunday, February 7, on CBS, and this year, the Indianapolis Colts are taking on the New Orleans Saints.
Dwayne will be one of millions glued to his TV. Who's he rooting for? "I'd like the Colts to win," he says. "However, there is something special about the New Orleans Saints. There's destiny there."
If you usually pay more attention to the cheese dip and commercials than the defensive line, Dwayne says there are a few things you should know about this matchup.
"The Indianapolis Colts, they have really been one of the teams of the decade. They've had tremendous success. They have a hall of fame–winning quarterback," he says. "They've been there before. They understand what it takes to win."
The New Orleans Saints have never made it to the Super Bowl before, but Dwayne says they still have a chance. "There's something special [about the Saints]. There's that intangible magic," he says. "The city of New Orleans has really rallied behind this team. It seems like America has rallied behind this team, so they could win too."
Oprah is going to a Super Bowl party in her neighborhood on Sunday, but she says she doesn't know a thing about football. To impress the other guests, Dwayne says she only needs to remember a few phrases: "The pass protection has to improve," and "There's got to be better blocking up front."
If those don't do the trick, Dwayne suggests walking into the room and screaming: "Where's the flags, ref? I quit."
Dwayne says he's skipping the parties this year and watching from home. The day after the championship game, filming begins on his new action-thriller, Faster . "I'm getting back to kicking booty," he says.