Dwayne Johnson has moved far and away from his eye-brow raising WWE persona, The Rock, with the action star often topping the list of highest paid actors in Hollywood. Not only has he brought audiences some of the most high-octane action flicks in years, but according to his fellow WWE colleague, John Cena, Johnson has changed the game for wrestlers looking to branch out.

"It definitely has changed, and I think that rests on the already broad shoulders of Dwayne Johnson. He just made it acceptable to be something other than your wrestling persona. If you look at the correlation of wrestlers or WWE personalities in movies, they essentially played extensions of their WWE personality. I think Dwayne was one of the first ones to break that mold, and do it on such a grand scale that he couldn't be ignored."

For years wrestlers would appear in movies as some version of the persona that WWE fans were already familiar with, and it is Johnson who was the first to really move away from this and play other characters on the big and small screen. Clearly this has not gone unnoticed to Cena, who credits Johnson with enabling other WWE stars like himself to become more varied actors, which he quite rightly believes that wrestlers already are and always have been. Johnson it seems, has made it much easier to get past the WWE typecasting.

"What we do in WWE is we tell stories - we just tell most of it through a physical nature of a narrative. And it is over the top, and a very Shakespearean form, but it is storytelling. I just think we have a lot of talented individuals that could be good in other avenues. It's just by being on every week without a break, perception is reality. 'I know this person for being this person and this person alone.' It's very much like your favorite [television show], like Seinfeld."

This is why, according to Cena, Dwayne Johnson has been so crucial to the WWE industry, as prior to becoming one of Hollywood's most sought-after actors, Johnson was simply known as the people's-elbowing, single-eyebrow-raising "The Rock". With his slogans making it into the zeitgeist so thoroughly that even if you had never seen WWE you knew that he could smell what you were cooking. Now that he has taken on a variety of different roles across many different genres, Johnson has shown wider audiences that there is more to WWE stars than their over-the-top personas.

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"As you know, typecasting takes a lot of attempts to unwire, and Dwayne has, through the legacy that he's built, he's made it easier for all of us."

With Cena himself proving to be a wonderfully charismatic presence such as we see in this weekend's Dolittle, as well as the likes of Dave Bautista emerging as a hugely talented character actor, perhaps we should all be giving our thanks to Dwayne Johnson and his influence. This comes to us from Cinemablend.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge