2020 was filled with tremendous loss, and one of those who suffered a great loss was Dwayne Johnson. Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic truly took hold of the world, Johnson lost his father died suddenly in January 2020, and it left a serious impact on the actor. But it went beyond personal, as Johnson explained the huge impact his father’s passing had on his Hollywood "legacy."
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has built a diverse career in Hollywood many would envy. But much of his career can be attributed to hard work and the legacy of his father, late wrestler Rocky Johnson. Johnson was recently recently spoke with Cigar Aficionado as its Jan./Feb. cover story. He talked about his acting career along with his new autobiographical sitcom, Young Rock. As he spoke about the series, talk turned to his father's passing, and the actor explained the effect his father’s death had on his Hollywood career and legacy:
What's important to me now, and what will be important to me five years from now, eight years from now, 10 years from now, is legacy. January 15 , my dad died suddenly. Gone. I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to him. That's a tough one to reconcile. We all lose our loved ones, but when we don't get a chance to say goodbye, that's tough. So this idea of legacy and what that means, not only leaving a legacy, but sustaining it, and how much more can we push the legacy along, how much more can you expand it, where you can take it. Legacy.
Given Dwayne Johnson’s words, he and his father shared a bond and understanding that the actor still holds on to. Like any son, the Hollywood star has felt the sting of losing a parent without any warning and, based on his comments, that definitely isn't easy to accept. Despite his father’s loss though, Johnson will get the chance to relive memories of the elder Johnson through his sitcom new sitcom.
While Dwayne Johnson spoke admirably about his father, he and Rocky Johnson's father/son relationship wasn't always easy. The younger Johnson has mentioned on several occasions how his father’s tough upbringing affected their relationship. The actor talked about moving around the world for his father’s wrestling career before forging his own. He has, however, credited his father for making him the man he is today. Years later, the young and elder Johnson had grown closer as the younger Johnson’s career took off. In 2008, The Rock even inducted his father into the WWE Hall of Fame along with his grandfather, Peter Maivia.
Dwayne Johnson’s need to build a legacy speaks to how important his father’s legacy is to him. Johnson, like any other son, just wanted to make his father proud and, based on everything The Rock has accomplished, he's surely done that and then some. If you want to get a better idea of the bond between the Johnson men, you can watch Young Rock when it premieres on NBC on Feb. 16.