The Rock talks NBC’s “Young Rock” series

Jan 27, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson discussed NBC’s new “Young Rock” comedy series during NBCUniversal’s Winter Press Tour event on Tuesday. As noted, the first official trailer for the series was released yesterday, which you can see below. The series will premiere on Tuesday, February 16 at 8pm ET, and will run for thirty minutes each week.

Rock talked about his initial reaction when Executive Producers Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang approached him with the idea. He also talked about how, if there’s a season two of the show, they will explore other happenings in his life that may be left out of the first season.

“When I first sat down with (Executive Producers) Nahnatchka as well as Jeff, it was to really under understand why — what’s the real reason of why we’re going to do this? How can we create something for audiences that will hopefully entertain them but also allow them with a bit of takeaway afterwards?,” Rock said, according to Deadline. “Once, we identified that, and I felt good and comfortable with that, then we moved forward. Let’s not take the easy route. We use these terms ‘wild’ and ‘crazy’ — those are great sizzle words we use as we promote this thing.

“But it was incredibly complicated and incredibly tough growing up, specifically with these timelines in my life of 10 years old, 15 and 18. Universe willing, if we’re lucking enough to come back for another round of this thing, there’s a lot of other things that took place in between.”

Rock also talked about his relationship with his father, WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, who passed away in January 2020. Johnson will be played by Joseph Lee Anderson on the show.

“The relationship I had with my dad was incredibly complicated and fueled by tough love,” Rock said. “My dad was kicked out of his house when he was 13 and was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me. And in that complication came an extraordinary life that was full of travel. I lived in 13 different states by the time I was 13 years old. I also lived in New Zealand. There was so much breadth to this life I had.”

It was noted that a key aspect for Rock in working with the Young Rock producers was to “rip some things open, and vulnerability was one of those factors. The series has allowed me to appreciate those hard times so much more.

“Let’s reveal things, but let’s also talk about the good stuff, because there was so much good stuff when I look back on it, in this wild world with these characters who were larger than life,” Rock said, referring to his grandmother, the first female pro wrestling promoter Lia Maivia, and other wrestling stars who are portrayed on the show such as WWE Hall of Famers Andre the Giant and The Iron Sheik, among others. “All of these men, so successful in what they did, but they played that role 24 hours a day.”

A reported asked Rock what the roughest times in his life were. He took a deep breath and answered.

“There’s a few layers to that answer…At 13, I veered off the tracks to do things I shouldn’t be doing. I got arrested at 13 in Hawaii,” he said, adding that he fought with his parents at the time as he didn’t want to move from Hawaii, but they were forced to move and it was meant to be as down the road he prospered.

Rock recalled another bad patch in his life – when he was passed over for the NFL.

“That was a pretty big loss; when you’re done with your college career, you’re done. There was no NFL for me,” Rock said.

Stay tuned for more on Young Rock.

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