Getting to meet Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. “The Rock”) has been on my bucket list for quite some time. As soon as he walked into the room, he beamed that smile we all know and love and made his way into the chair right next to me. I couldn’t wait to discuss his role as Maui in Disney’s Moana. It was such a fun interview and I held it together even though I couldn’t believe it was happening. Well, I held it together for the most part, you can read about how I made him sweat here.
Here are 9 Fun Facts I learned from Dwayne Johnson during our interview:
- Because he is half Samoan and half black, doing this film was an opportunity for him to showcase his Polynesian culture to the world.
- Making sure that the words that he spoke had life and the correct energy, temperament, tone, intonation and pitch was the biggest challenge for him but he had help with it.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda did a lot of research to find a comfortable range that Dwayne could sing in and he also pushed him a little bit.
- The cultural aspect in the film was was done in such a tremendous way that Dwayne says makes him proud.
- Dwayne feels that the great take away of the film is that we all have a little voice inside of us that we should listen too and follow.
“You always want to revert back to the little voice that you have inside of you, saying you are good enough and you can do things.”
- If he were to get a tattoo that represents an accomplishment in his life, his tattoo would represent being a father.
- There was a good amount of Dwayne infused unto Maui, like the lifting of his eyebrow. Dwayne said that there are some characteristics of Maui he can apreciate, since its like he is infused with his DNA, he went on to say that…
“…there’s a fun side to Maui, and a need to keep things and a desire to keep things fun, and keep them a little bit on the lighter side…not quick to show the vulnerability, and not quick to go down that route…and some bravado, a lot of bravado, because you can mask a lot with bravado.”
- Dwayne described the process of recording
“…So it’s a really cool process for those of you who don’t know. There’s multiple cameras in the room as you’re sitting in the studio and you’re going through these lines and your facial expressions will then inform the animators on the facial expressions of Maui. So, if I say, ‘You can’t do that!’ my eyebrows go up, then that will inform the animators…So there’s all these really amazing unique little things that take place that they capture that informs the animation.”
- Fun fact: He dresses up as Pikachu for his daughter Jasmine, who’s eleven months old, because she freaked out (in a good way) when she saw someone dressed up as Pikachu at a pumpkin patch in Hawaii. He went on to share this cute & funny story
“…And so since then, Pikachu makes weekly visits. It’s a whole thing, right?…Pikachu… goes to get dressed in another room and he has to walk out back and around the house; he has to ring the doorbell, and then he has his fun with Jasmine, and it’s very funny.
So, usually Lauren is there, my mom is there, and they mess with me ‘cause I can’t talk, so Pikachu just doesn’t speak for obvious reasons and it’s so hot, and after fifteen minutes…I’m getting ready to say goodbye, and Lauren goes, “Oh, Pikachu wants to dance? He wants to dance?” And she puts on music and… another twenty minutes. But it’s the best.”
Moana sails into theaters November 23rd!
Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.
Stay Connected to Moana:
- Like Moana on Facebook
- Follow Moana on Twitter
- Follow Disney Animation on Instagram
- Visit Disney Animation on Tumblr
- Visit the official Moana website
*I was invited by Disney to attend a press junket covering Moana. All opinions are my own.