The rules of the action movie genre have changed with the introduction of CGI, which can make even the most physically incompetent actor look like a badass ninja onscreen. And yet, one of the biggest action stars on the planet, Dwayne Johnson, prides himself on the genuine physical athleticism he brings to his films. During a recent session of answering fan questions via Instagram Story, the actor revealed his own action movie idols.
"My favorite action stars growing up were Harrison Ford, especially after I saw him in Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back and then Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Then I love Stallone. I love Schwarzenegger. Love Clint Eastwood in some of his earlier movies. And um, uh, let's see, Steve McQueen than him, Charles Bronson, just the dudes who were badass dudes.
It is clear from the list that Johnson respects action stars who genuinely put in the work instead of relying on CGI for their films. The list also reveals that while Johnson has cultivated a lifelong devotion to muscle building, he respects the actors, like Harrison Ford, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and Clint Eastwood, who were able to portray themselves as the ultimate badasses without hitting the gym every day.
Actors like Schwarzenegger and Stallone and are a logical addition to the list since Johnson is considered by many to be following directly in their footsteps in presenting an action movie hero whose biceps dwarf the heads of regular men. What sets Johnson apart is a sense of humor that he brings to most of his roles, something that was missing from 80's action movies, which were all about the strong, silent heroes taking on entire crime cartels single-handedly.
In current times, audiences are less willing to put up with grim, dour heroes, or movies that are pure action showcases and little else. John Wick and the Fast and Furious franchise are those rare action movies that manage to hold the interest of fans across multiple installments of the protagonists mowing down armies of their enemies for the full length of their runtime, and little else.
Some names are conspicuous by their absence from Johnson's list. Names like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and Tom Cruise. Actors who arguably have had the biggest impact on the action movie genre in the past several decades. The absence of Tom Cruise's name might have a personal reason behind it. Johnson has revealed that he was up for the role of Jack Reacher at one time, before the part went to Cruise, much to Johnson's dismay.
But despite not getting to play Reacher, Jonhson has more than made a name for himself on the big screen, playing such badasses as The Scorpion King, Luke Hobbs, and soon, Black Adam. The role of Adam is one that Johnson has particularly been trying hard to make a reality for more than a decade. Unfortunately, the current global lockdown has put the brakes on the Black Adam movie for the present. But the actor is hopeful that the project will move forward full steam ahead once the lockdown is over. This news originated at Cinemablend.