Seiuli Dwayne Johnson - As solid as a Rock

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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SOLID SAMOAN: Seiuli Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

SOLID SAMOAN: Seiuli Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

When it comes to the year that Seiuli Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had, he’s done it all.

You see when we talk about his achievements it is not easy at all; in fact it’s very hard, as hard as… well… a rock.

With all that the big man has achieved, stringing together a paragraph is almost too much for any person because let’s face it, when you think of The Rock, what has he not achieved this year.

He’s that wrestler that captivated the hearts of many, he’s that hero from Empire State, he’s the man full of vengeance in Faster, he’s the alien killer in Doom, he’s the tooth fairy, he’s the cavalry in Fast & Furious, he’s the spy from Get Smart, he’s an unstoppable force in G.I. Joe, he’s a body builder in Pain & Gain,  he’s Hercules, he’s a hero chopper pilot from San Andreas, he’s Maui from Moana, he’s a C.I.A. agent from Central Intelligence, he’ll be the villain in the upcoming Justice League and so, so, so much more.

Oh, let’s not forget, he was also named the Sexiest Man Alive this year by People’s Magazine, labeled Forbes highest paid actor earning US$64.5million a year and just recently, he was named the U.S.A. Today’s Movie Person of the Year.

When it comes to big achievers from the small island of Samoa, Seiuli is up there with the big guns… no pun intended.

He can sing, he can act, he can wrestle, he can do the Samoan slap dance, and he can melt the hearts of all the ladies in the room with that unique Rock smile, Seiuli can do it all.

Born in May 2nd, 1972, to Ata and Rocky Johnson in Hayward, California, Seiuli quickly made a name for himself in the world of wrestling fueled by his, strength, skills, charisma and charm.

Even amongst other stars, he shown bright and was listed one of the all-time greatest professional wrestlers and was even branded “the biggest superstar in the history of W.W.E.” by legend Hulk Hogan.

He managed to get kids from all over the world screaming his line “can you smell what the rock is cooking”.

That is but a brief skim into Seiuli’s wrestling career. In 2001 he took his big muscles to the big screens and broke into the mainstream with roles in The Mummy blockbuster action films.

The years that followed saw the Seiuli jump from different roles taking on different characters and gaining more and more adoring fans worldwide.

And with his role as the Demigod Maui in the Disney Cartoon Moana, Seiuli was able flaunt his Pacific pride and show the world what Polynesia has to offer.

In an interview with Stuff NZ, Seiuli says he understands what the audience expects of him, they want a soft tough guy.

“There’s a strong audience appetite for me in roles where, if there’s a problem, I will galvanize people around me and I will handle it,” he told Stuff.

But it wasn’t always glamorous for the big Samoan man. Met with a mountain of struggles, Seiuli quickly learnt the do’s and do not’s of the industry and began to climb.

“When I first got into the business, I didn’t have studios knocking on my door. I couldn’t greenlight anything,” Seiuli recalls.

“So I made a vow and a pact to myself that I was going to understand the business from top to bottom. I’m new to acting, therefore, who are the best coaches? Who are the studio executives I should know so I can understand how the business works? I really wanted to be a sponge, and I didn’t give a ... if it was overwhelming. Bring it on. I got one shot at this.”

He continued on into the interview explaining how much thinking goes into his decision making.

“You’re not going to see me all of a sudden, out of the blue, in a slice-of-life drama,” Seiuli said.

“There’s a smarter way to bridge the gap. You’ve got to build to it. I’m in this business to service the audience. That’s the No.1 thing. It’s not, ‘Well, I would like to do this or that’.”

And if that doesn’t make you love him even more, Seiuli also told Stuff that whatever downtime he gets, he spends it trying to personally interact with his millions of fans on social media.

“I’m on everything all day,” he said.

“Because here’s the thing. When I was wrestling in flea markets and fairs and used car dealerships in front of 150 people, getting paid US$40 a night, I developed a skill to listen. When those 150 people would respond to something, it was like, ‘Let’s go in that direction more’. I think developing that has helped me.”

Whether you are talking about the Rock with the big guns or the rock with the big heart, it doesn’t really matter; it’s just hard to have people of the year without Samoa’s biggest achiever.

And if you think he can’t get any bigger than he already is (both body mass and on screen) then let’s just sit back, enjoy something similar to his famous cheat meals and enjoy the show.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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