Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was urged to “drop some weight” when he first arrived in Hollywood.
The wrestler-turned-actor picked up the Generation Award during the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Saturday night, which aired in the U.S. on Monday, and he gave a heartfelt acceptance speech, in which he looked back at his humble beginnings.
“When I first got to Hollywood – Hollywood, they didn’t know what the hell to do with me. I was this half-black, half-Samoan, six-foot-four, 275-pound pro wrestler,” he said after taking the stage at the Barker Hanger in Los Angeles. “You know, I was told at that time, ‘You’ve got to be a certain way. You’ve got to drop some weight… You’ve got to stop working out.’ Stop doing the things that I love. You’ve got to stop calling yourself The Rock – what? And for years, I actually bought into it.”
The 47-year-old continued, “I was miserable doing that, so I made a choice. And the choice was, I wasn’t going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me. So, Hollywood conformed to me, and here I am with all of you getting the Generation Award… It’s important that you are your most authentic self. I’m a walking example of that.”
The Fast & Furious star concluded with a heartfelt message to fans, encouraging them to be true to themselves.
“There’s another side to being your authentic self, your true self, and that’s the side that the magic is on. That’s the side that’s gold. While yes, it’s important to be yourself, you’ve got to recognise the joy and responsibility of bringing everybody with you,” he added. “We bring everybody with us, and you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive, and straight-up being good to people, because that matters.”
Previous winners of the prize, which celebrates “beloved actors whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names in the industry,” include Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, and Jim Carrey.
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