Question: What appealed to you to take the role of “Chris Vaughn” in Walking Tall?
ROCK: I was such a big fan of the original movie, of “Walking Tall,” of Buford Pusser and, I was intrigued by the simplicity of that story, that it transcends time in the story of a guy standing up for himself. It’s a story that everybody can relate to.
Question: How is this movie different from your past work?
ROCK: I step out of the box of just an action movie and test myself even more as an actor, dramatically.
Question: The courtroom scene is a good example of that.
ROCK: That particular scene is a turning point in the movie. In the scene my character is on trial, and I take matters into my own hands and remind the court that the people of this town used to walk tall. And, if I am acquitted, I will run for sheriff and I will change the town.
Question: What was it like working with Neal McDonough?
ROCK: Neal McDonough has, has really been terrific
Neal was passionate about doing this role. He is a fantastic actor who helped me raise my game and helped me tremendously.
Question: How were the fight scenes between the two of you?
ROCK: I thought Neal did a great job. A lot of people just don’t realize that Neal is an exceptional athlete, and that showed in his fight scenes. And I was really, surprised because just because you’re a great athlete doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a great fighter, but there’s an X factor that I always believe that you either have or you do not have. Neal has it.
Question: The whole movie is very raw and very real. The action was done with no wires. Is it fun to do that?
ROCK: It’s a blast. It’s just like, it’s like bringing back the movies of yesterday that really took visceral raw action and, put it on screen.
Question: Tell me about Johnny Knoxville.
ROCK: Johnny’s been great. I had no idea that he really has a passion for acting. We’ve become really cool and good friends and, and constantly, never a dull moment on the set.
Question: The title of the film is “Walking Tall.” What does that mean to you?
ROCK: “Walking Tall” personifies what I believe every person feels at some point in their life, like there are moments in life that define us. Sometimes very big moments, sometimes little and subtle moments. There are moments where you need to walk tall.
Question: Do you believe that one man, one person can make a difference?
ROCK: Wholeheartedly. I absolutely believe that. One man can make a difference. One, one woman can make a difference. I mean, one person can make a difference. Absolutely.