Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson takes kids on new film "Journey"

Thu Feb 9, 2012 4:34pm EST
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eat your heart out, Madonna. When it comes to career reinvention, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wins hands-down.

First, the college football champion transitioned into professional wrestling and his alter ego, "The Rock," became a huge star on the World Wrestling Entertainment circuit. Then Johnson parlayed that success into a movie career, starring in such action hits as "Walking Tall," "Gridiron Gang" and "Be Cool," before moving into family comedies such as "Tooth Fairy."

His newest film opening on Friday, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island", is another comedy about family relationships and a trip to a mythical island with gigantic creatures hungry for a human supper. Along with the movie, Warner Bros. is showing a short film, "Daffy's Rhapsody," aiming to introduce a new set of kids to the studio's lovable Looney Tunes cartoons.

Johnson spoke to Reuters about making the 3D film, working with veteran Michael Caine, his ukulele playing and possible new career as a singer. There he goes again, with a new career.

Q: Michael Caine said he did this so his grandkids could see him in a movie. What's the appeal of family movies for you?

A: With family movies, I always think of "Pirates of the Caribbean," where it feels big and adventurous, and this felt the same way to me. For the past two years I've played some intense characters who've hunted down a lot of bad men and then done some violent things to them, so this was a nice change of pace. When I first began acting 12 years ago, the goal was to have diversity and longevity and work in all different genres, and I love doing this kind of movie when it's done well.

Q: You play the patient stepfather trying to relate to a hot-headed teenager. Much of you in him?

A: A lot. As a teenager I struggled a lot to stay on the right path. I got arrested and into some trouble, so I could really relate to Josh's character in this, in the way teenagers think they know it all, but they don't. I was lucky in that the adults in my life saw my potential, and everyone needs that guiding hand when they're growing up.   Continued...

<p>Actor Dwayne Johnson poses with fans after his arrival on the red carpet event to promote his new movie "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" in Mexico City January 28, 2012. REUTERS/Henry Romero</p>