Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Spent the Week Breaking Your Heart Wide Open
Dwayne Johnson is an impossibly impressive specimen of human-shaped magic. Have you seen what this man eats in a day? He announced his own alarm clock today, which is definitely not intended for non-magic humans. And speaking seriously, how many people do you think can dub themselves “The Rock” and actually have it stick. I can’t even refer to Alcatraz by that name without using a snickery Sean Connery voice.
You already knew The Rock was a robot sent from the future to improve our species. This past week, though, he went above and beyond even his own standards of incredibleness. Over the last week, he’s been sharing stories on his Instagram account of the people he’s met, both around the Baywatch set and during his visits to the Make a Wish Foundation. Quick question: How are your tear ducts feeling? If the answer is “fine,” that’s about to change.
I warned you.
First there’s these kids, Ashley and Larry, with some sweet, jokey videos where The Rock makes them say what their favorite part of the day was. (Hint: it’s meeting him.)
But he takes it a step further with lengthy, detailed stories about the kids. He goes into extreme detail about who they are and what they talked about, what their interests are. Why is he doing this? BECAUSE HIS HEART IS MADE OF GOLD PUDDING, THAT’S WHY.
I mean there's cool dudes, and then there's COOL dudes. My buddy Larry Orozco-Chavez from Make-A-Wish is THAT cool dude. Such a pleasure getting to hang with him and his family today. We chopped up talkin' about video games (he's a hard core gamer), my WWE matches, movies, took selfies, shot videos on our phones of each other and his mom even asked me to bounce my pecs up and down! I mean don't threaten me with a good time, so I was pec poppin' all over the place much to the amusement of Larry's mama and much to the embarrassment of Larry himself😂. When I sat down with Larry, he said something to me that struck a chord. He said, "Dwayne Johnson (he often called me by my full name today which was awesome) when you walked in today my heart was beating so fast I didn't know what to do. Then you started talking to me and it slowed down and everything was good". I shared with him that that happens to me sometimes. I get so worked up before something big happens (shooting an intense scene, performing in front of 100,000 people at WrestleMania) that my heart feels like it's beating out of my chest, BUT the moment I realize "I got this" then all the angst goes away and I'm ready. So next time something like that happens with him, I told just remember "you got this", be calm, cool and you'll be ready. Made me think of everything this kid has been thru up to now - making him more stronger than many of us could ever imagine. We wrapped up our visit, I gave him a lil' gift and said our goodbyes. It was a real pleasure kickin' with you today, Larry. I can't begin to tell you what it means to me. Just know how grateful I am to share your time, your laughs and definitely grateful to have been able to pop my pecs for your family.😂 Stay cool and remember… you always "got this". #OnSet #Baywatch #MakeAWish #LarryOrozcoChavez #AndOneVeryLuckyBigBrownBaldDude
This whole last week has just been The Rock’s stories of people he’s taken the time to reach out to.
As fate would have it, I got lucky and met this amazing family… @michaelsailors It was an honor to meet one of the most influential, kind, GENUINE, and charismatic dudes out there today. It was amazing to see @therock touch my brother and mom's heart. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet us man! #WhatsYourAnchor #ThumbsUpForRy #TybeeIsland #Savannah #Baywatch
Like Ryan here:
Here’s the story of how The Rock met Ryan:
Thank you universe. I was on set this morning ready to start our shooting day when I got word that there was a family with a special needs young man named RYAN who was hoping to meet me. They understood that they travelled in unannounced but they were willing to wait all day until I wrapped to meet. That would’ve 12hrs. Way too long.
So I asked production to hold and walked across the beach to the barriers where they were waiting. When I walked down the stairs, Ryan’s mom (pictured here) was waiting with a huge hug! Her tears started to come as she whispered, “Thank you, thank you”. I met Ryan, his brother and his nurse. What a great and cool kid. Without getting into the details, this kid has waaaaaay more heart, is stronger and tougher than I could ever imagine. He can’t talk much, but he did tell me, “I love you” in sign language. I thanked him so much for that love.
I walked away from this family so grateful to have met them and Ryan. I don’t ever take meetings like this for granted and when that mama hugged me today and I felt her start to cry… that stuff gets me every single time I hug a parent in these situations, because I’m a parent too and will do anything to make my babies happy and put a smile on their faces. I know I’m a lucky guy to be in this position and have this platform. I’m grateful and moments like this will always, ALWAYS be the best part of my job. Stay strong Ryan and thanks for teaching me how to sign language buddy. Great meeting you and your family. Thank you universe.
How are those tear ducts now? Still fine? Well, there’s one more kid that The Rock met with, and his name is Tater.
The Rock is a HUGE fan of Tater’s.
Been a long time coming, but I finally met the one and only “Tater”. This very special lil’ 7yr old boy has been battling cancer for 4yrs now. Multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation treatments and stem cell transplants. You name it, this lil’ boy has gone thru it. He’s had one request. Meet me.
He spent the day with me on our #Baywatch set. Watched me film and in between scenes we’d hang out, have some laughs and have some good talks.
One of the good talks we had was about every time he goes into the hospital for treatments he takes two things: his Rock action figure (which I’m holding) and his stuffed animal, appropriately just named “puppy”. He even made these shirts for us. “Strong As The Rock” and “Live Like Tater”. He told me every time he gets treatments he wants to be strong like me. I told him he’s already way stronger I’ll ever be. He just giggled not really knowing what I meant. One day he will.
Spent all afternoon with Tater and his beautiful family. Lots of tears were shed among us. Joyful tears. Grateful tears.
I don’t know why things happen the way they do in this life. Gotta have faith that there’s a bigger reason or lesson for us. Sometimes I’m not sure. But I can tell you this with all my heart and soul that meeting lil’ Tater and all these little kids over the years who for some reason far unbeknownst to me, look at me as their hero - is a thousand times way more important than any movie or any “thing” I could ever do or accomplish in my life.
Having this platform to shine a little light on the path that these brave children walk - is by far the best part of fame.
LIVE LIKE TATER this lil’ 7yr old says.
Strong. Loving. Happy.
You stay strong big man. Me and puppy always got your back ~ Rock
Okay, just in case you’re not weeping uncontrollably yet, here’s one more video of the Rock presenting Tater with his very own Baywatch poster. Not even Johnson himself can get through this video without (almost) losing it.
The big moment where we surprised lil' 7yr old cancer warrior named "Tater" with his own #BAYWATCH movie poster! I wish you guys could've seen his face when I turned this frame around. When I told him "we're all so inspired by you, especially me" and looked down at him and saw him lookin' up at me, nodding his head with those big eyes.. good Lord I almost lost it in front of him and the whole damn crew. (that actually happened to me once before when I was accepting an award on stage and as I thanked my family, I just happened to catch my daughter Simone's eyes and sweet cheese on an ice cream sammich I almost lost it again). I did exactly what I did here.. paused, gazed into space like a crazy man and told myself "you better hold it together dammit", shook it off and proceeded to continue. Despite my almost tearing up like a baby and ruining my tough guy image, the greatest and I think most beautiful irony about Tater, is that this very special little boy has no idea just how much he inspires all of us around him. One day he will. #OnSet #OurWholeBaywatchCrew #UnforgettableMoment #LiveLikeTater #AndRocksDontCry * special thank you our good buddy and one of Hollywood's greatest photographers @jaimietrueblood and the @forthewinproject charity creating this awesome poster for Tater.
Damn it, Johnson. You set the bar too high for us humans.