IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Dwayne Johnson on why his father refused to let him become a pro wrestler

It took some time, but his father — who was also a professional wrestler — came around.
/ Source: TODAY

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s dad had no desire for his son to be a chip off the old block.

The superstar made his name as a wrestler in the 90s, following in the footsteps of his late father, Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson, who died last year at the age of 75. The elder Johnson began wrestling in the mid-1960s and stayed in the ring until he retired in 1991, ultimately getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. Despite his accomplishments, he did not want his son to become a wrestler.

Watch TODAY All Day! Get the best news, information and inspiration from TODAY, all day long.

Dwayne Johnson, as The Rock, middle, was one of the WWE's biggest stars.George Pimentel / WireImage

We had the biggest fight between a father and a son over this and essentially, you’re right, he said, ‘Look around. Look what I have after all these years and I want more for you,’” Johnson told Hoda Kotb Monday on TODAY. “And I said, ‘I know, but, and I appreciate that, but I feel like I have something to offer.’ And we fought and fought and fought."

Eventually, his mother stepped in to help them reach an agreement.

“Finally, after my mom said, ‘Let me talk to you for a second.’ Let me talk to you, husband. Let me talk to you about how this whole thing is gonna go down.’ And then he said okay I'll train you,” Johnson said.

Johnson, 48, has gone on to become a global icon, transforming from a wrestler to one of the biggest movie stars in the world, starring in such blockbusters as “Moana,” “Jumanji” and multiple installments in the “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. He also created and stars in the new NBC comedy, “Young Rock,” based on his childhood, teenage years and his college football career.

Today, Johnson has a family of his own. He's married to Lauren Hashian, with whom he has two daughters, Jasmine, 5, and Tiana, 2. He also has daughter Simone, 19, with ex-wife Dani Garcia.

Hoda asked him if there was ever a point he felt like he had enough, given that his father worried about that.

“I don't think I've ever felt that and I'm not quite too sure, honestly, Hoda, if I ever will," he said.

"So much of my DNA in my constitution derives from not having, which then motivates the work. When we were living here in Hawaii, we were evicted off the island when I was 14 years old. That really drove me to want more, so I'm not quite too sure if I've ever said, ‘I got enough. I'm good.’”

Johnson, who sang with his mother during an appearance last week on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” has never forgotten where he came from and how to give back especially to his parents.

“My goal was to buy them their first house, and I was able to do that, by the grace of God and the universe and I bought them their first house,” he said.