You wouldn’t know it to look at him now, but Dwayne Johnson wasn’t always the hulking mass of muscles and charisma you see on the big screen these days. There was actually a time, if you can even begin to believe it which I admit is tough, that he was just a regular awkward kid. Even that’s hard to picture, and what’s also even tougher to conger up is that there was a version of Dwayne Johnson that was confused between a boy and a girl growing up. But that was the case and something the megastar shared in an interview with Today recently. He says that when he was growing up he’d be asked by others if he was male or female.
The specific story Dwayne Johnson shares in Today’s Sunday Sitdown has to do with a time he got on a school bus when he was growing up. The kid with whom he shared a seat asked him a point-blank question which apparently has stuck with the actor for some time. The kid said, “Are you a boy or a girl?” Again, seeing Dwayne Johnson relay this story is just a little tough to compute considering just what this guy looks like these days. But the actor said that while he was growing up, specifically in his pre-teen years he had “really soft features and…really soft Afro hair.” Apparently, this wasn’t an isolated incident for Johnson.
In the interview, Dwayne Johnson goes on to share more stories about his childhood and how some of them were used as source material and drawn on for his sitcom Young Rock. If there’s an autobiographical element to this story and if Johnson is reflecting more on his childhood days it’s because this new show does focus on a (only kind of) fictionalized version of Johnson growing up. There is a lot of overlap with the kid, the son of a professional wrestler whose dad (Johnson) is now a major celebrity. And if they were sowing the seeds of what’s maybe to come, in this show Johnson’s character is an ex-wrestler who is, wait for it, running for President.
The new show Young Rock involves Dwayne Johnson being interviewed during his candidacy for President of the United States, but then will flashback to the story in question. Depending on the timeline and timeframe, there are three different younger versions of Johnson who will take part in the show. Those are Adrian Groulx (10), Bradley Constant (15), and Uli Latukefu (18). It’s unclear if one of the narrative arcs will revolve around the younger, Groulx version being asked this boy-or-girl question, but it’s clear the show draws almost entirely from Johnson’s actual childhood and early adulthood.
Though he might have been a shy kid growing up, those days are long gone for Dwayne Johnson who is among the biggest celebrities we have going these days. He’s got two movies coming out this year, Red Notice and Jungle Cruise. But the big one we are all waiting for will be next year’s Black Adam when Johnson joins the DC Universe as the titular anti-hero. This guy just keeps getting bigger (literally and figuratively) which is why it’s always funny to hear about a time when the dude was most definitely not The Rock.