Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s life seems to be going pretty well. Forbes named him 2016’s highest paid actor, as his earnings that year totalled $64.5 million – more than double his 2015 income. Johnson’s pay checks came from upfront fees for films such as Central Intelligence, Fast 8 and the Baywatch reboot which is still in the pipeline. He beat Jackie Chan ($61 million) and Matt Damon ($55 million) to receive this top honor.
Now, there are rumors that The Rock has set his sites on another number one spot. It’s not quite clear how much of this speculation is playful banter as opposed to a plausible reality, as the man himself has been known to discuss his political interests in interviews. Johnson appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show and hinted at the possibility of a presidential campaign.“Three and a half years is a long ways away. So we’ll see.”
In addition to this, even though he refrained from commenting explicitly on President Trump’s performance so far, he did state in a recent GQ interview that he did not support the so-called “muslim ban”.“I believe in our national security to the core, but I don’t believe in a ‘ban’ that bans immigrants. I believe in inclusion. Our country was built on that, and it continues to be made strong by that. And the decision felt like a snap judgment.
”Formerly a registered Republican, Johnson is now a registered independent. Not only has he said he would be interested in running, a poll showed that he would beat Trump in a hypothetical election. Johnson also mentioned in his interview with GQ that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns had approached him for an endorsement. So there’s interest, there’s demand AND politicians are taking notice? What’s holding up the campaign? The Rock’s latest appearance on the season finale of Saturday Night Live might just have answered this question.
Hosting the show for a fifth time, The Rock announced during his opening monologue that the show marked the start of his campaign. He also added that he had chosen a running mate, a revelation that served as a set up for a surprise appearance. This running mate turned out to be none other than Oscar winner Tom Hanks, who promptly took the stage to accept this nomination – to raucous applause from the audience.“Dwayne, Dwayne, Dwayne, I could not possibly… turn this down! I’ll do it!”
The pair joked about who would support them, with Tom Hanks claiming he would secure “the senior vote” thanks to the fact that he has “fought in World War II in, like, 10 different movies”. The Rock replied with a prediction of his own – he would win “the minority vote because everyone just assumes that I’m, well, whatever they are”. Reactions to the hilarious skit began to stream in on Twitter.
Although the SNL moment was all fun and games, questions about The Rock’s political motivations remain. The Johnson/Hanks 2020 ticket might only have been proposed in jest, but I still think we should watch this space. He certainly won’t be the first person to cross over from our screens into the White House.