Sitting down for a lengthy interview with Esquire, the San Andreas star said that receiving the unsolicited communiqué from the Jaws director was the moment when he really knew he had made it as an actor (you would think making millions of dollars and appearing in massive blockbusters would have been an indication). According to Johnson, the letter said:
Been enjoying your movies over the years. Very entertaining. I feel like I've really gotten to know you over the years, most recently after watching you host Saturday Night Live. Great job. You continue to go for it. Proud of your work and look forward to meeting you. Steven Spielberg.
Even for a star like Johnson, who has played mythical characters, action heroes of all stripes, and been a key part of one of the highest grossing movies of all time, getting a note like this from an icon like Steven Spielberg is a big deal. He said he was "blown away," and that the message made him feel like a kid again.
If you saw his initial reaction, that last part is very, very obvious. He posted a picture of himself on Instagram reading the letter with a giant grin plastered across his face. Along with the image, there was an adorable story about watching an Indiana Jones movie when he was eight years old, just to drive home how much it meant to him.
Grinnin' now like a big ass kid... When I was 8yrs old I sat front row to see a sold out INDIANA JONES in its opening weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. I walked out of that theater excited and wanted to be "Indy".. cool, funny, charming with the ladies and kickin' ass w/ a smile. But at 8yrs old I was also perfectly content playing w/ my Star Wars figures and sneaking off listening to Richard Pryor concerts. Throughout the years I've credited this man and his movies as being my greatest inspiration in becoming an actor and wanting to always make "his kind" of movies - entertaining, quality and above all else.. heart. Just receiving this personal letter from him and its not only made me incredibly humbled and grateful, but it's also brought me back to being that 8yr old boy again who not only loves movies, but I now get to make the movies I love and enjoy the impact they have on others. THANK YOU STEVEN SPIELBERG for these inspiring and motivating words in your letter and cheers to making sure I'm always listening to that little voice in my gut. #CoolestGiftEver #BigAss8yrOldKid #SpielbergInspired
Johnson goes on to talk about playing with Star Wars figures and sneaking off to listen to Richard Pryor albums. More than anything, this serves as an illustration of his own fandom. Like I said earlier, most of the people involved in the entertainment industry started out as fans first. Spielberg reportedly sent the letter as a kind of congratulations for Johnson’s career success, as well as an encouragement for future endeavors.
Steven Spielberg and Dwayne Johnson have never worked together, but with the director’s unique ability to tap into the pop culture pulse of any given moment to deliver pitch perfect popcorn blockbusters, and the former professional wrestler’s easy charm and charisma, should such a situation arise, that could be a powerful team up for the ages.