Is it feasible that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will run for president? Yes. Of the United States, this country? Yes. Would you vote for him if he did? These are questions you have to start thinking about now, because The Rock is thinking about it.
Gawker alum Caity Weaver profiled Johnson for a heartwarming GQ cover story, where we learn that he’s the most personable person you’ll ever meet if you’re lucky, that he works out in a secluded private gym that mole people would love, that he wants to help basically everyone, and he won’t stop showing how much he loves the troops. Also, he’s strongly considering a run for President and that’s a real idea you have to wrap your head around. Last year, he casually played with the possibility, but here, when asked if he’s serious, he suggests he’s up for the commitment:
Since then, Johnson tells me, he’s given the question more thought. “A year ago,” he says, “it started coming up more and more. There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, ‘Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.’ I didn’t want to be flippant—‘We’ll have three days off for a weekend! No taxes!’”
So, after all that consideration, Johnson doesn’t hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. “I think that it’s a real possibility,” he says solemnly.
These are thoughts and sentences coming from The Rock, which is wild and a partly undesired effect of where we are, that all of a sudden the wheels are turning in the brains of famous people who feel considerably more confident that they can reach the once far-reaching (at least to the average celebrity) goal of presidency. As Weaver notes, if anyone can really be President, then it helps that Johnson’s story is inspiring in that aspirational American way, plus he’s a mega box-office pull across demographics (men, women, dogs), and he at least seems compassionate, maybe too polite for politics. It bears repeating that the world is crazy and everything is crazy.
During the last election, he says that both Trump and Hillary Clinton requested his support:
Johnson’s industrial-strength patriotism is a big reason people wonder about his political aspirations. Last year, both presidential campaigns reached out to him for his endorsement, he says. “Which I did not give. I felt like…and give me a second, because I’ve never said this publicly, so…” He stops to gather his thoughts.
(The Rock does a lot of thinking.)
“I feel like I’m in a position now where my word carries a lot of weight and influence, which of course is why they want the endorsement. But I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the process and felt like if I did share my political views publicly, a few things would happen—and these are all conversations I have with myself, in the gym at four o’clock in the morning—I felt like it would either (a) make people unhappy with the thought of whatever my political view was. And, also, it might sway an opinion, which I didn’t want to do.” He says he told both the Trump and Clinton camps that he wasn’t making an endorsement, that he preferred to see Americans make up their own minds.
Johnson then claims he’s a registered Independent. Weaver mentions that the year he spoke at the Republican convention, in 2000, he also went to the Democratic convention. He shares a gracious response about the importance of inclusivity in leadership, he “completely disagree[s]” with President Trump’s Muslim ban, and he labels himself a feminist.
He’s a guy who treats every single bit of news like a surprise party for you, and he’s desperate to be the one to yell “Surprise!” In fact, he already has a record of revealing state secrets, as when he tweeted in May of 2011: “Just got word that will shock the world—Land of the free...home of the brave DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!”
He was referring to the death of Osama bin Laden. Except that his announcement beat President Obama’s by about an hour.
To this day, Johnson refuses to disclose how he got wind of this ultra-classified mission. “The tweet was actually supposed to come out at the same time the president was making his speech,” he says, “but the moment I sent that out, I got word that now we’ve delayed the speech a little bit. I was like, ‘Ooooh. Okay.’”
“That’s the way love goes,” says Johnson on the Ballers set, shrugging at the national-security faux pas. He has the grace to look a little abashed. “I was really excited that day.”
Is this the beginning of us propping The Rock up because we feel empty inside and the man is charming and quotes Janet Jackson? It’s okay to not know how to feel. Appropriately, this is GQ’s comedy issue. Read the full hilarious cover story here.