ET's Kevin Frazier caught up with The Rock backstage at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards on Saturday, where he opened up about the struggles he faced early on in his career, and how he was told to be more like Brad Pitt and George Clooney when it came to acting.
"There was a time when I was struggling in my career and trying to conform because at that time the biggest movie stars were Brad Pitt and George Clooney and I was told, 'When are you going to be more like them?'" Johnson told ET. "A couple of years of that, I finally was miserable and [decided] I have to be myself and see what happens. Fortunately, things worked out. Hollywood conformed around me, but that's the power of being ourselves. That's what this represents."
"It's hard work and that's the bottom line. There is no exception to that," he stressed. "The thing that I wanted to impress upon this crowd, especially the younger generation who's watching: it matters to be good at something; it just doesn't matter to be famous or infamous, right? There is a lot of that out there where you just want to be influencers and what that means and that could be a good thing."
"But remember, the real power is not only being authentic but being kind and compassionate and inclusive and work your a** off," he added. "It just doesn't fall out of the sky. You got to work and don't get your thoughts shrouded with the glitz and the glamour and Hollywood."
As for what his golden popcorn trophy means to him?
"It reminds me of hard work. It reminds me of how sexy I am," he jokingly said. "No, I'm being stupid, but it's a reflection of hard work. But it's also a reflection of sticking it out and not conforming to Hollywood."