This video is a remake of Judy Garland’s “Dear Mr. Gable (You Made Me Love You)” from The Broadway Melody of 1938.
As you can tell from my video, I love Dwayne Johnson. I love watching him on WWE, on television and especially in movies. He is endlessly likeable and effortlessly charismatic. You can’t buy or manufacture his type of magnetic screen presence. Like the Rocky Mountains and the Great Barrier Reef, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s persona is one of God’s great gifts to mankind. His smile might as well be the eighth wonder of the world.
Absurd hyperbole aside, he is a terrific actor and makes every single movie he appears in better because of his lovely screen identity.
But what makes him so entrancing? I think it’s because he represents so many different American ideals and fantasies. He makes no secret of the fact that he grew up poor and moved to Hollywood with only a few bucks in his pocket. Like James Cagney before him, he has an edge to his acting, a sort of wise knowledge that could have only been learned from the streets, from pulling those bootstraps up one strap at a time and kicking opportunity’s door in when it came knocking. When we look at Dwayne Johnson on screen, we not only see physical perfection, but the hope and inspiration to make our own lives better. He is the American dream embodied in one muscular package.
However, many movie stars have that going for them as well. What makes Dwayne Johnson really special is perfectly represented in this clip from You Again:
It’s a throwaway role, one that lasts less than two minutes, but it captures everything I love about The Rock. He’s not a wise guy. He’s not a man who is macho for macho’s sake despite his overpowering physicality. He’s not one of the Expendables. Johnson is, in his heart, a sweet pea who genuinely loves life and the people around him. He wants to save people and be a shoulder for them to cry on. He takes his career seriously and has clearly made an active effort to improve his acting abilities and movie roles since his debut in The Mummy Returns twelve years ago, but that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to poke fun at what should rightfully be his persona at every possible turn.
Whether he’s appearing in drag in Hannah Montana, offering Kristen Bell pretzels and sympathy in You Again or winning our hearts and smirks in his best role yet as Hobbs in the Fast and the Furious movies, Johnson represents the very best of what contemporary cinema and contemporary society has to offer its audiences and citizens because of his willingness to be the people’s champion. He wants to be the John Wayne-type hero we look up to and admire just as much as he wants to be the Rock Hudson or Cary Grant of kindness and grace. Johnson is our cinematic big brother. When the dust clears on this generation, I’m willing to bet Dwayne Johnson is one of the few timeless actors our children remember, one of the chosen stars that continue to dazzle our thoughts and spirits long after he’s gone.