Set Visit: Fast Five Interview with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Yesterday we brought you a full report from the set of FAST FIVE complete with colorful quotes from Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel. Today we've got the full interview with Mr. Johnson for your reading pleasure. Though he plays a bad-ass in FAST FIVE, he's actually one of the nicest guys in Hollywood (as you'll see below). Tomorrow we'll have an interview with Vin Diesel so make sure to check back then.
Are you at your heaviest since your wrestling days?
I would say so, probably. I don’t know if I was this heavy when I was wrestling – probably about five pounds…
You have always had a clear strategy for your career with increasingly visible roles. What prompted you to jump into the 5th film of this series as opposed to taking on something else?
It was an opportunity to work with Universal again, the studio that I started my career with. I did my first four movies with Universal. Always like their management, their executives, how they approach their business and this was an opportunity to work with Universal and be a part of a very successful franchise and the opportunity to work with Vin [Diesel]. I’ve known Vin for a long time an we’ve always talked about doing something together, but as long as it was right and wasn’t forced. This felt like the right opportunity to create a formidable adversary for him and one that was believable and that we could get on screen and rumble and dance and have some fun.
What can you tell us about Hobbs and how he fits into the film and his role?
Storywise, Dom and Brian are accused of murder. There are two DEA agents who are murdered and the murder gets pinned on them and Mia. I’m sent to find guys when the government needs to find – haha, it sounds like The A-Team. In a way he is a bounty hunter, but he is a U.S. Marshal sent down to Brazil to find these guys. Fun character to play, where I am able to be efficient in the skills – and not only efficient in the skills and having that animalistic, visceral way that I can rip your fucking throat out, excuse my language, but also have the backing o the U.S. government – a fun, fun character.
Is it kind of like the Tommy Lee Jones character in THE FUGITIVE where he is after the bad guy, but realizes he might not be that bad?
It is very similar to that. The only difference is the physicality aspect, which I am able to bring, which heightens things for me, because ultimately I think from an audience standpoint, you want to see that. You want to see Vin and I go at it.
When I think about this plot, it almost brings me back to Heat, and thinking about the amazing anticipation of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro going to meet - these two iconic actors and characters. And now we are going to have a more beefed up version of that where maybe instead of just talking at a diner, you guys would beat the hell out of each other in the diner. I’m looking forward to this buildup of your encounter. Is that something you’ve been looking forward to in this film?
100%. Sure. So you guys talk in a diner? Yes, yes, yes. Over a cappuccino. It’s a wonderful scene. One cappuccino with two straws. That was something I was looking forward to and just as a fan of movies and a fan of genres this is an awesome opportunity that doesn’t come along very often where you can have two guys who are successful and put it down and go at it. There are some great scenes in the movie where we do talk, and it’s a nice, stinging conversation and the intensity is palpable- it’s in the air. But then fuck talking, eventually you gotta get down and kick some ass. Again, I’m sorry for the language.
The response to FASTER was very, very strong, especially from fans of yours who have been waiting for the return to action. This feels like a continuation of that. There are very few guys who are real actions tars left. Is that something you are moving back towards?
It is always about opportunity for me. And those of you who know me know we have discussed this in the past. It is about creating opportunity day to day. There was an opportunity to do three family movies in a row, putting me in a space where I can continue to entertain, knowing that we were still developing on the other end like a FASTER, like these intense action movies we were developing. Well, this is ready and it is in the family genre and it tells a good story. The other is not ready, so let’s go. Believe me, I love to entertain, across the board – I love that and enjoy that. At my core, I am a physical guy, a visceral guy, and I love kickin’ ass. I love it, so if I can continue to, it comes down to what’s available, what’s ready, what’s cooking?
You generally play characters that we root for. In this film are you a villain or –
No, no that’s gonna be interesting. I’m not sure where the audiences will be. I just know that I’m rooted in my own truth and my truth is I have a list and your name came up on that list and I’m gonna hunt you and find you and bring you in. If they root for me, great. If they don’t, great, I’m still kicking ass.
Gurkha and Elsa [Pataky] talked about this big gun you’re just wailing away with. Can you talk a bit about that?
[Flexes bicep] It’s called my third gun. Wow. The Rock’s third gun. Haha, I’m sorry, what were we –
Elsa mentioned she’s got this little pistol and you’ve got his big machine gun and you’re firing away. All I could think about what the BFG.
Right, right, right. Wow, you saw Doom, then. One of the few…. One weapon I have is a very big revolver and I’m attracted to guns like that – just big and muscular and masculine. I like revolvers, though, too. Powerful guns to me. I have one in Faster and have one in this movie as well. I also have a much bigger gun that is automatic – there is this one scene where Elsa and I are firing side by side and we are all kind of laughing at it because Elsa is such a petite woman – very beautiful, but petite – and next to me she looks very, very tiny. She looks like a little girl and she has her little ‘pew pew’ and I’ve got me ‘doodoodoodoodoo.’ When it is stripped down it will be very serious, but we laugh because it’s funny. The cars in the movie are going to be what you expect. They are dynamite vehicles from fast cars to muscle cars to military Gurkha, which is a big, 10-ton absurdly badass vehicle. When we land in Brazil, I’ve got me, my men and my Gurkha.
Did you know the franchise well when you got the character? Did you go back and watch the films or did you not want to go back, since your character meets Dom and Brian fresh?
Well, I am familiar with their success and I had seen the last one and the opening was a dynamite opening. I e-mailed Vin that Saturday and said congratulations. But with all movies I do, I feel it’s just important to sit down with the director and let’s just talk, shoot the shit, talk about the character, talk about the story, talk about how I come in and help and elevate and that’s what I do and want to know how to do. And then we come up with different scenarios and character traits.