Movies & TV

‘The Rock’ talks a future in politics

Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho pose at the world premiere of "Moana" in Hollywood, California, Nov 14, 2016. Reuters/Danny Moloshok

LOS ANGELES: After parlaying a professional wrestling career as “The Rock” into leading roles in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson is entertaining the idea of jumping into the political ring, including perhaps even a run for the White House someday. Johnson, 44, who stars in the upcoming Disney animated film “Moana” as the voice of demigod Maui, told Reuters that the excitement surrounding last week’s presidential election had renewed public interest in him running for office.

“I love my country,” the star of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise said.

“I’m extremely patriotic and I also feel, especially now, leadership is so important, great leadership is so important, respected leadership is so important.”

When asked about a potential White House run, Johnson replied, “If I felt like I could be an effective leader for us, and surround myself with really high quality leaders, then sure, I would.”

It is not the first time Johnson’s name has been mentioned in political circles.

Earlier this year, Johnson took to Instagram to thank a Washington Post journalist who said he had a “weirdly plausible path to a political career” as a mixed-race registered Republican from Florida, a swing state in the presidential election.

While Johnson did not specify which office he might seek, when he might run or which party he would represent, he said he thought running a business as a producer in Hollywood had given him a discipline he hoped he could apply to politics.

“I’ve found really good success in being able to galvanize people in a positive way and continued to push them, as I’ve pushed myself along the way too, because I walk what I talk, daily,” he said, “which I think is an important quality.”

If Johnson does take on politics, he would be following another pro wrestler, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, who served as governor of Minnesota, and body-builder-turned-action-star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served two terms as Republican governor of California.

Known for the catchphrase “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking,” Johnson produces and stars in HBO’s sports dramedy “Ballers” and the upcoming “Baywatch” film reboot. He still participates in occasional World Wrestling Entertainment matches.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 16, 2016, on page 12.




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