Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson had best response to being told playing gay would ‘ruin his career’

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson smiles for the camera as he wears a blue and black patterned top and stands in front of a patterned background with the SD Comic Con logo on it

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson had an absolutely iconic response when some “few influential folks” told him that playing a gay character would “ruin” his acting career. 

The revelation came after former Out editor Jeffrey R Epstein spoke about his favourite cover stories in honour of the magazine’s 30th anniversary. This included an interview he did with Johnson in 2005 when the actor was promoting his crime-comedy film Be Cool

Johnson played an openly gay man named Eliot who worked as a bodyguard and was an aspiring actor. The role was one of Johnson’s earliest film appearances as he transitioned from a stellar wrestling career into acting. 

Epstein, who is now the host of the D23 Inside Disney Podcast, reminisced how Johnson was  “one of the nicest, smartest humans” he’s interviewed and was a “class act” when they met. 

After seeing Epstein’s words, Johnson opened up about the toxicity he experienced in Hollywood around LGBTQ+ representation and showed his support for queer fans.

Johnson revealed he was advised in the early stages of his acting career to stay clear of playing gay characters as it could “ruin” his chances of landing bigger roles in the future. 

And in true The Rock fashion, Johnson recalled telling those “influential” figures to “nicely” take their hateful opinions and “f**k off”.

“Jeff, thanks man so much for these very kind words,” Johnson wrote. “I always say, ‘It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice’.”

He continued: “I was told back then (by a few influential folks) that playing a gay man would ‘ruin my career’. 

“I said ‘hold my tequila and f**k off.’ Nicely of course.”

It’s a good thing Dwayne Johnson didn’t listen to those anti-LGBTQ+ voices in Hollywood and has actively spread his wings in the acting world

He made a name for himself in gritty, action-packed films like Gridiron Gang and the Fast & Furious franchise as well as comedic films like Tooth Fairy and the recent Jumanji films. 

Johnson is far from the first person to speak about homophobia in Hollywood. Colton Haynes said he almost wasn’t cast in MTV’s supernatural drama Teen Wolf after execs found out he’d been in a gay magazine photoshoot.

In 2021, Kate Winslet said he knew “at least” four gay actors who are “terrified” that coming out will “stand in the way” of their careers in Hollywood. The Titanic star said it was “painful” to know the actors feared “being found out” and lambasted the film industry for being rife with “judgement, discrimination and homophobia”.