Dwayne Johnson Reveals Battle with Depression
By JACKIE WILLIS
June 19, 2014
Before he was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, this Pain & Gain actor had hit rock bottom. The wrestler-turned-actor tells The Hollywood Reporter that he battled with depression at a time when nothing seemed to be going right in his life.
Johnson recalls his dream of becoming a professional football player, but says that while on full scholarship at the University of Miami at age 18, he sustained numerous injuries. The 42-year-old Hercules star says it was then that he started becoming depressed. "I didn't know what it was. I didn't know why I didn't want to do anything. I had never experienced anything like that."
Instead of getting into the NFL, Johnson began playing for the Canadian Football League where his depression got worse when he was cut from the team. "The dreams I had, they're dashed. There is no more football. My relationship was crushed. That was my absolute worst time."
He recalled to THR, "I didn't want to do a thing. I didn't want to go anywhere. I was crying constantly. Eventually you reach a point where you are all cried out."
Thankfully, Johnson went on to find stardom as a wrestler, and eventually an actor. "I was told that I had to conform to a standard in Hollywood that would beget me more work, better roles," he said. "Which meant I had to stop going to the gym, which meant I couldn't be as big, which meant you had to distance yourself from wrestling. You essentially had to deconstruct yourself."
Johnson didn't conform, and is still fighting for what he wants. "I grew up where, when a door closed, a window didn't open. The only thing I had was cracks. I'd do everything to get through those cracks -- scratch, claw, bite, push, bleed. Now the opportunity is here. The door is wide open and it's as big as a garage."