It’s been said about many that have come before him. From James Brown to Jimmy Kimmel, the title of ‘Hardest Working Man In Showbiz’ doesn’t come easy. With Brown, you could see it just in the way he performed and the magnitude of performances in which he did. There was no doubt, he was the man. Jimmy Kimmel may be a somewhat more surprising entrant, but from having to scrub off the dog days of ‘The Man Show’ and the pranking puppeteers of ‘Crank Yankers’ to become the prince of late-night television, it doesn’t come easy, but neither does success.
Just reading what he has planned for the next year is tiring with having just finished Central Intelligence and now begun filming for Baywatch; lending his voice for Moana and still to film Fast 8, Rampage, Shazam, Season 2 of Ballers and an appearance at Wrestlemania on the 4th of April, you have to wonder if this guy runs on the same time as everyone else.
After a quick scroll through The Rock’s Instagram – who has over 50 million followers mind you – two things become apparent very quickly. One being his natural beaming charisma that helped him become so popular as a professional wrestler in the WWE, and the other being his unparalleled work ethic. It’s very clear that it’s The Rock posting these images with fans and his daily workouts, often posting either a video of a finished set or his early 4 am wake up time. Ugh, I’m getting tired even just writing about it. What’s driving this man?
Dwayne Johnson was a young man living with his mother, Ata, in Hawaii while his father, Rocky, would bounce from one wrestling circuit to another. It was tough for Dwayne growing up as his absent father and his family’s low income pushed Dwayne into a crowd that found him consistently in trouble with the law. One morning he came home with his mother and found an eviction notice on his door and that was it. That was “The Tipping Point” as Dwayne refers to it. “It was about ‘What can I control with these two hands?’ The only thing I could do was train and build my body. The successful men I knew were men who built their bodies.”
By 18, he had sculpted his physique to a point where it was believable to chase his dream of going to the NFL, and after attaining a full scholarship to the University of Miami, it didn’t seem so far fetched. A series of serious injuries sent him from promising NFL prospect to getting cut in the Canadian Football League where he would spiral into despair. Suffering from a bout of depression after finally losing his dream of playing in the NFL and with seven dollars to his name, Dwayne’s father Rocky reluctantly agreed to train him in the world of professional wrestling.
He wasn’t immediately accepted by fans however. The fans hated his gimmick as Rocky Mavia and he was far from becoming “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment“. The fans weren’t buying into his nice guy act and felt it wasn’t authentic. So, the company turned him Heel, or into a villain, and thus The Rock was born. Now as The Rock, he became one of the most popular wrestlers of all time, but more importantly he had crossover appeal into mainstream pop culture, culminating in a hosting Saturday Night Live in 2000. That led to his first role as The Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns.
Say what you want about The Rock’s films but there is no doubting his box office pulling power, with his films grossing over $3.7 Billion as a leading Actor. That’s a genuinely absurd number for someone who’s acting career only started to truly blossom in the last few years.
The story of Dwayne Johnson’s rise to stardom is full of fierce adversity and great success, but there’s no doubt that he is a prime example that hard work pays off. In an industry full of megalomaniacs and method actors, he’s doing a great job of staking his claim as the hardest working man in show business.