Last week I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dwayne Johnson also known as The Rock at the Disney Moana Press Junket. The interview took place at a long table of 25 blogger invited out to participate. I was very lucky to be the one to take his photos as he entered the room and chatted with us. At first he seemed a little overwhelmed which happens often when an actor enters the room with us in it. We aren’t usual press so it’s still a new process for many entertainers. But you’ll find that he settled in and had some fun with us, I would say he even got a little embarrassed. But first let’s talk about him and the new Disney animated movie Moana coming out in theaters November 23rd!!!
Dwayne Johnson plays the demigod Maui in Moana and he was asked why the role was important to him. At first he kidded and said money! But the truth is that The Rock is half Samoan and half black and it was an opportunity for him to showcase his very rich culture. He is very proud of his culture and how Disney portrayed it in the movie Moana. He went on to tell us that John Lasseter sat down with him and his team of animators did years of research and you can see that in the movie. The culture includes a tremendous amount of pride and a fierceness that comes through Moana in so many special ways. Dwayne mentioned that a great take away from the movie for all cultures is to trust that little voice inside of you.
He was then asked what was the most difficult part of doing an animated film. When you are acting you get to feed off the other energy of the actors. When you work in animation you have to work in a room surrounded by cameras and say your lines. It takes lots of energy and he said that the hardest part for him was “finding ways to really add real zest and life to words… and to sentences, and as you’re articulating things and in conversations with Moana, ….… So it was that, I’d say, that was the biggest challenge – making sure that the words that I spoke had life and the correct energy and the correct temperament and tone and intonation where it had to go to different places and pitch and things like that, so…. It was a real fascinating experience, .. for me.”
We’re big fans of Dwayne Johnson, even my husband has been following his acting career since he first saw him in Star Trek many many years ago. So finding out that he could sing was new to both of us. Not only did he sing he got to rap a little bit and he got to work with the very talented Lin-Manuel and Opetaia whom we also got to interview and I can’t wait to tell you all about that as well. The Rock said that the bar for a Disney movie is pretty high and he had to push himself to meet the requirements. He also said that they found a range for him to sing in and that Lin-Manuel pushed him to go a bit further.
Now for that part you really wanted to read in this article.
How did a room of 25 moms make The Rock sweat?
One of the moms was trying to ask him about the animated tattoo on his pecs that acts as his conscience. As she was trying to get the question out she looked like she was juggling, her hands were going up and down right in front of her and she said pecs and that was about all that came out of her mouth and he said, uh yes please continue.
She was super embarrassed and her question couldn’t come out, and he seemed to be a little embarrassed. We tried to move on to another question…but he came back saying she made him sweat. He was being really sweet, cute and funny and it presented a side to him that we all hoped he was really like. He’s a fun guy, really good looking, bigger than I thought he was in size and in personality and he’s a good dad. You may not know that he likes to dress up as Pikachu for his daughter.