Between The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch and the return of Ballers, 2017 is going to be one Rock-ing summer. But there was a time, just 15 short years ago, when Dwayne Johnson wasn’t yet a staple of warm weather moviegoing. On April 19, 2002, Johnson took his first tentative steps from wrestler to movie star when he headlined The Scorpion King, a feature film based around a character he had originated a year earlier in the opening sequence of The Mummy Returns. Flash-forward to 2017 and the actor is revisiting that not-especially-auspicious debut in his ongoing YouTube series “Rock Reacts.” (Watch the video above.)
First some backstory: Johnson learned the Scorpion King would be getting his own feature after only a few days of shooting The Mummy Returns. But at the time his agent broke the good news, the actor was dealing with a bad illness. “I had things coming up out of my body I could not even describe!” Fortunately, news of The Scorpion King standalone feature helped the medicine go down. Throughout the “Rock Reacts” video, Johnson freely admits that his first leading man performance isn’t exactly the stuff of legend. “Let’s take a moment to appreciate the perfectly plucked eyebrows,” he says, poking fun at his younger self. He also reviews his early stuntwork, and recalls the time that he snuck a fart machine onto set to…um punctuate a romantic moment with his leading lady, Kelly Hu. You might say she smelled what the Rock was cooking.
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