Monday, 4 August 2014

Dwayne Johnson, super trouper

The show must go on: A month after undergoing emergency surgery for three hernial tears, Dwayne Johnson started filming 'Hercules'. - AFP

The show must go on: A month after undergoing emergency surgery for three hernial tears, Dwayne Johnson started filming 'Hercules'. - AFP

The Rock overcomes severe injuries before going on to film Hercules.

Dwayne Johnson is only human. Better known as The Rock, the former University of Miami football star turned pro wrestler and actor suffered a series of major injuries last year four weeks before filming began on Hercules.

Johnson, who has a home in South Florida, United States, faced immense physical challenges.

In April of last year, The Rock went into the ring with John Cena during a WWE Title defence match for WrestleMania 29 and tore two tendons in his pelvis.

Pain, what a rush.

Dwayne Johnson with his daughter Simone Alexandra (left) and his companion Lauren Hashian at Los Angeles premiere of Hercules, July 23, 2014. – Photos EPA

“I had about 25 minutes left of a 50-minute match,” recalls Johnson, who eventually lost the bout.

“The referee asked me, ‘Should we call it off?’ I knew something was wrong but continued to go.

“I reached down into my trunks to make sure no bones were sticking out (laughs). I mean, it was WrestleMania, and we had an attendance record of like 80,000 people. I think I was running on adrenaline.”

Only after an MRI at the University of Miami did Johnson realise the extent of the damage.

“It’s always fun when the doctor comes out looking all serious. He starts shaking his head and goes, ‘I don’t know how you’re walking.’ To get nice and graphic with you, my leg was basically dangling off of my body.”

Rehab was prescribed to fix up the hard-body, but days later, the Game Plan star had to undergo emergency surgery for three hernial tears.

The California native tweeted a picture from his hospital bed. “Superman is on the mend.”

A month later, Superman got into Hercules mode, boarding a plane to Budapest to begin rigorous training, maintaining a strict diet and working with a dialect coach while still rehabbing his tendons.

“We get one shot at making this epic, and we wanted to dive into the etymology of it all. It was like, ‘It’s time to get to work.’”

Johnson and the crew, which included director Brett Ratner, stayed in Budapest for roughly eight months. That was another challenge: not having his loved ones around.

“That was really hard; it was a long time,” admits Johnson, who has a 12-year-old daughter with his ex-wife Dany Garcia and is dating aspiring singer Lauren Hashian, whose drummer father John “Sib” Hashian used to rock it out with the band Boston.

“But the last thing I wanted to do was hold up filming.”

Spoken like a true superhero. – The Miami Herald/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Hercules is currently showing in cinemas nationwide.

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment , Movies , Hercules , Dwayne Johnson , Movie , Brett Ratner , The Rock , John Cena


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