They say you should never meet your heroes. In megastar/tequila purveyor/Rock Dwayne Johnson’s case, that was apparently literal. Apparently, Johnson once saw his one and only man-crush (his words, not ours) Clint Eastwood at the Academy Awards one unidentified year, and freaked out. While doing a red carpet interview at the Oscars, Johnson saw The Man with No Name walking by with his wife, and found himself unable to approach him. For someone whose public persona is as legendarily confident and brash as Johnson’s, it is quite the admission that he just was too starstruck and scared to approach. As he told Contact Music:
“We were at the Oscars and I was doing red carpet and when I was done with an interview, I turn around and there he is, he’s walking in with his wife… I was like, ‘Oh man, this is it!’ And then I froze. I completely froze. I couldn’t pull the trigger… I looked at his wife; she smiled, I smiled at her… I didn’t meet him.”
However, Dwayne Johnson used his legendary determination and did not let it end there. While apparently the star of The Scorpion King and Tooth Fairy lost his nerve when he saw Clint Eastwood in person, he still wanted to express to the legendary actor how much he had meant to him. As such, he decided to do the charmingly old-fashioned thing (which Eastwood, curmudgeon as he is, doubtlessly appreciated) and wrote him an actual pen and paper letter to tell him what an inspiration he had been for the young Rock. Johnson even posted a photo of the letter had sent on Twitter. Take a look:
From the sounds of it, Gran Torino himself did not write back to Dwayne Johnson, but it sounds like that was not really the point. And if these photos from the Spike TV’s Guys Choice 2015 Awards are any indication, Johnson finally did get an opportunity to speak to the legend. Jaume Collet-Serra, who recently directed Johnson in the highly anticipated DCEU film Black Adam and another film called Jungle Cruise, said that he actually thinks of Johnson in character as the Dirty Harry of superheroes. Will we get the chance to see Dwayne Johnson ask Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate “do you feel lucky…Doc?” We had better.
If there is one thing that unites both Dwayne Johnson and Clint Eastwood, it is doubtlessly their tireless, borderline disturbing work ethic. Eastwood has appeared in over 60 films over the course of 65 years, beginning with an uncredited role in 1955’s Revenge of the Creature. Just last year, he directed and starred in Cry Macho, which apparently may be his last film, but expecting Clint Eastwood not to make more movies just because he is 91 years old feels like a losing bet.
For his part, Dwayne Johnson is doing his best to be the hardest working man in Hollywood (after Samuel L. Jackson, it goes without saying). He has a whole slew of new films either coming out this year or in production, including the aforementioned Black Adam and a reunion with his Red Notice co-stars Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. But all jokes aside, it is great that Johnson can be as open about his fears of meeting his idol as he is. He has often been direct and vulnerable about the issues he has had to confront in his career, and even if this one is a light one, he should be commended for his bravery. Eventual bravery, that is.