Dwayne Johnson looks back on his record year
CNN spoke to Johnson this week about his monumental year. He spoke about the hype surrounding his possible return to the “Fast and Furious” franchise and his potential political ambitions. He also gave a glimpse of how he plans to overtake his 2021 blockbuster.
Our conversation, which has been edited slightly for fluidity and clarity, follows below.
Have you seen great successes, strong moments? Thinking about it, would you have liked to do it differently?
“I worked hard, got lucky on my own and was able to accomplish a few things in 2021. A few highlights that come to mind, one would be finishing two huge Seven movies Bucks Productions, ‘Red Notice’ and ‘Black Adam’. ‘(Scheduled for release in 2022.) Both presented a lot of challenges during Covid, but like so many companies, we’re adjusting, getting clarity, creating our new Covid strategy and we get to work. Seven Bucks also just ended – two weeks ago – our second season of “Young Rock” on NBC. I’m pretty proud of everyone’s efforts and talents to make work and deliver quality. And the other companies in my portfolio have grown tremendously and are doing well in 2021 – Teremana Tequila, ZOA Energy, Project Rock and XFL. for everything I would have done differently in 2021, of course I would have listened to my gut when it told me to slow down a bit. do more of these times with your family and friends because at the end of the day those happy times are the shit that really matters in life. Sorry to swear but it’s the truth. Good lesson to always listen to this voice in his guts. “
“Red Notice” has received widespread accolades, both from industry and audiences around the world, becoming the world’s most-watched Netflix movie for 2021, and the most-watched of all time. What do you think made “Red Notice” so successful?
“First of all, we made a great movie for families around the world to enjoy. It is essential. Deliver the Marchandise. I always say I can get people to dance and with their confidence in me they will dance one. song. But then, it is to the quality that I propose to make them dance all night long. We made a great movie and people are dancing to it. Rawson Thurber did a terrific job of writing and directing ‘Red Notice’ which drew two of the biggest stars in the world, in Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, and a dude who is only famous for his tattoos, his raised eyebrows and her fanny pack. But silly jokes aside, it’s a monumental feat for our Seven Bucks Productions to produce the most watched Netflix movie of all time. ‘Red Notice’ was my first movie on a streaming platform, so it was extremely important for me and our Seven Bucks Company to deliver and move the streaming needle. What a hell of an achievement and congratulations to everyone involved. “
What do you think of the streaming war between platforms and its impact on theatrical releases, does that play a role in discussions about your projects’ releases as a producer?
“I say this with great clarity, we are having a great time in our Hollywood industry as we are in the eye of a huge opportunity to listen and learn what our audience and our consumers want and just as important, how they want it. I am a firm believer in our film business and want us to keep working hard to maintain that theatrical experience for our consumers. When a movie is done right, man, it’s pure magic in theaters . And I’m also convinced that it’s our job as creators, producers and providers of entertainment to always take care and reach out to people. I try to approach streaming platforms versus cinema with a mind and a business vision. The power of possibilities and the needs of the public, consumers first, best practices will emerge. We just need to be smart, open and flexible in. ur change and listen to what people say they want. “
There was a lot of buzz that you could join the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. We saw that Vin Diesel recently posted that he wants you to come back. We know you touched on the potential comeback months ago, but were you surprised by Vin’s post?
“I was very surprised by Vin’s recent post. Last June, when Vin and I didn’t connect through social media, I told him directly – and in private – that I would not be returning to the franchise. . I was firm but cordial with my words and said that I will always support the cast and always support the success of the franchise, but that there was no way I would return. spoke privately with my partners at Universal, who were all very supportive as they understand the issue.
Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he was raising his children in the post, as well as the death of Paul Walker. Leave them out. We talked about it months ago and we clearly got along. My goal from the start was to end my amazing journey with this amazing “Fast & Furious” franchise with gratitude and grace. It is unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Either way, I have confidence in the ‘Fast’ universe and its ability to consistently deliver to audiences, and I truly wish my former co-stars and crew the best of luck and success. in the next chapter. “
As the most followed American on Instagram, do you think anything has changed with the way you approached your own social media over the past year?
“That answer is yes. I still have my anchor guidelines that I follow: be authentic, be real, and try to make sure every social post has a quality and meaning behind it, offering take-out for them. people and being mindful to never waste time with anyone.a message from bulls *** about anything. But I’ll tell you, as we make our way through the difficult ebbs and flows of Covid, I found myself trying to use a much lighter touch with my words because things on social media are so easy trigger these days, click bait stuff. Lighter touch and quality than I try to use daily when I connect with people through social media. And if I can make you laugh and smile I will try to do that too. “
Was becoming a tequila mogul still part of the plan? What’s next for Teremana in 2022 and beyond?
“The tequila mogul was not part of the initial strategy, but I understand that. Our numbers were released earlier this week and our growth in Teremana is truly unprecedented. Our sales have exceeded 600,000 cases of nine. liters and in our spirits industry this is an all-time record for first year sales. For context, George Clooney sold his Casamigos brand of tequila to Diageo for $ 1 billion and they were selling around 170 000 cases Teremana currently sells over 600,000 cases so you can extrapolate the math and valuation, amazing growth and I think that reflects our mantra of “highest quality and best tasting.” I’m happy but not satisfied with what we have been able to accomplish with Teremana tequila so far. The work has only just begun. My goal for 2022 and beyond is to make Teremana a true international brand We have the expertise in international organization and distribution with our Mast-Jäegermeister partners, our Teremana team and just as importantly, we have ambition and work ethic. “
“Well, I think the poll of almost half of Americans in favor of my running for president is so demeaning. It makes me sit down and I don’t know another way to describe it. the country is humiliating, very humiliating. It might be the Teremana speaking here, but I still don’t know anything about being a politician. I don’t know if I have this politician gene in my DNA. Leader? Yes. Patriot? All throughout the day. Politician? No.
I think the best position I can be in right now is to be a trusted, non-judgmental place for people; it doesn’t matter which side of the street you live on, what color you are, what you do for a living, how you choose to live your life, what your bank account says, whether you drive a car or take the bus. I do not care. None of this matters to me. Work hard, take care of your family, be good to people, be kind to people, be honest, keep your word and always [have] a little fun along the way. And don’t be an asshole. Like I said, I don’t think I would make a good politician. “
Do you have a New Year’s goal or resolution?
“To be honest I usually don’t have New Years resolutions. I know I look like a ** hole here, but I’m the guy who usually does it all year round. change that needs to happen, I will do it and move on. But this last year has been different. It opened my eyes a little more to real change that needs my attention. work, what and who in my life really needs my attention, what really should get me out of bed. I reached a point in my life last year where I realized just how great the idea and the essence of time are vital; who and what gets my time these days. We don’t get time back, so in 2022 and beyond, people, projects, energy, everything. Life. If it takes my time and get me out of bed, so I’ll go to sleep knowing it was worth it and that it was all the time wisely spent. our biggest and most valuable currency. ”