Dwayne Johnson Explains Why He Didn’t Call Himself The Rock For A Short Time

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

There was a short time a little over a decade ago where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was just Dwayne Johnson, sidestepping the nickname that made the movie star a true WWE Superstar. So, what was that all about?

“I was told at [one] time, ‘Listen, you can’t talk about wrestling. You can’t go by The Rock. You can’t be as big [in physique],’” Johnson told Jamie Foxx on an upcoming episode of the digital series OFF SCRIPT.

But that change in identity didn’t last long.

“I was tired of trying to be something I wasn’t,” Johnson said.

The name switch came just before the release of Southland Tales in 2006 when his star outside the wrestling ring was on the rise. But eventually, Johnson says, he felt like he wasn’t being true to himself — or to the people who helped get him where he was: his fans.

“It’s the most important relationship I have,” Johnson said. “So finally I reached a point where I said, ‘Alright, two things have to happen: I’m gonna surround myself with a different group of people, different management, and then I’m gonna make sure that I just gotta be me.”

You can watch that piece of their conversation here. It’s one of the many topics Johnson discusses with Foxx — he also reveals his biggest influences (including another big action star, Harrison Ford); when his family had to leave Hawaii and settle in Nashville, Tennessee; and why it’s so important to him to be nice to people. The full episode premieres today at greygooseoffscript.com.