Dwayne Johnson Was "Born to Play" Hercules
03.24.14 by BJSprecher
"Do you smell what
the Rock Hercules is cookin'?"
The nickname that has stuck with Dwayne Johnson since his days as a professional wrestler could finally crumble into dust and blow away if Hercules is the character-defining portrayal it's hyped as being. Johnson has long pursued an opportunity to portray a superhero on screen — anyone from Marvel's Luke Cage and Sub-Mariner to DC's Black Adam and Lobo — but why play any of the modern capes-and-tights heroes when he can play "the first superhero," as he describes the mythological warrior?
The Brett Ratner-directed epic is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars and takes place after Hercules has endured his 12 Labors and uses his fame to make a living, eventually being hired to train an army. Always an impressive figure at 6-feet-5-inches tall, Johnson still had to undergo eight months of intensive physical conditioning to get into the Herculean shape seen in the new still images that debuted Sunday in USA Today. In the article, Johnson said that he had his own revelation while filming a pivotal scene in the movie.
It's when Hercules breaks through the chains and becomes the demi-god he was born to be. I was actually yelling with all the power I could muster, "I am Hercules!" I gave it my all and made myself pass out every time we did it. But I honestly felt in that moment that I was born to play this role.
Images courtesy USA Today and Paramount Pictures