A-list Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson used his acceptance speech at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards to explain why he refused to conform to Hollywood after he left his career as a pro wrestler to become a movie star.
Accepting the Generation Award honor for positive contributions to film and television, Johnson told the story of how he refused to conform to the expectations of Hollywood and the film industry.
“When I first got to Hollywood — Hollywood, they didn’t know what the hell to do with me. I mean, I was this half-black, half-Samoan and six foot four, 275-pound pro wrestler,” said Johnson. “You know; I was told at that time, well, you got to be a certain way. You got to drop some weight. You’ve got to be somebody different. You got to stop working out. Stop doing the things that I love. You got to stop calling yourself ‘The Rock.’ What?!”
Dwayne Johnson went on to explain how conforming to Hollywood’s expectations left him miserable.
“For years I actually bought into it because you think, ‘Oh, that’s what that’s what I’m supposed to do.’ And I was miserable doing that,” he continued. “So I made a choice. And the choice was I wasn’t going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me. So, Hollywood conformed to me and here I am with all of you getting the Generation Award. Holy shit.”
There can be little doubt about the success of Johnson’s methods, with the 47-year-old boasting dozens of starring roles in major blockbusters such as Jumanji and the Fast and Furious franchise.
Past recipients of the MTV Generation Award include Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pratt, Will Smith Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Bullock, Jamie Foxx, Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, and Jim Carrey.