Monday, March 9, 2009

Dwayne Johnson on The Race to Witch Mountain!

Dwayne Johnson (formerly known as The Rock) has made himself a legitimate actor, and next up, he stars in The Race to Witch Mountain. Fandango snagged an exclusive interview with him which we've got here for you. Read it, grab some movie tickets, then check out our favorite witch costumes here! Fandango: I have in my hand a Dwayne Johnson trading card, which notes that one of your greatest achievements in life is “pretending to take direction from Andy Fickman while filming.”
Dwayne Johnson: Any opportunity that I get to screw with him I take – always, always, always. It's relentless with he and I. The goal to is to consistently see how vulgar we can be with each other, who can do outdo whom and how far deep in the toilet can we take our jokes. People will try to get in and they'll get in for maybe a minute or two and then they will check out quickly. Carla Gugino just had the daunting task of being right in the middle of us and we'd try to drag her to the depths of hell as well, but she's too classy of a woman to let herself go down that far.
Dwayne Johnson and Carla GuginoFandango: Given that, were there outtakes that might've taken Witch Mountain’s humor out of the family-friendly zone?
Johnson: Oh, yeah. The fun thing is because we're best friends I can push the envelope and know that in all likelihood it's not going to make it into the movie, but I can damn sure tell you that we're going to entertain the crew for next 30 minutes, coming up with the most ridiculously and insanely vulgar jokes. I think it's a fact of it being a Disney movie – how far can one go? It's all in fun…whether we're in a boring ADR room or at a dinner meeting or on the set or whether he's just trying to inappropriately kiss me on the mouth.
Fandango: Andy knows anything and everything about the UFO phenomenon. Has he tried to suck you into that world? 
Johnson: He's such a big believer in UFOs and alien life. During preproduction he provided us with hours and hours of footage. I was a believer beforehand. I'm certainly a believer after, too. And in addition to that, he was born in Roswell, New Mexico. I thought that I knew Andy really well until he unleashed this vault of knowledge on me. So [with him] finally coming out of the closet with that, now I know him extremely well…My secret that would shock him is that he thinks I actually give a shit about what he says [laughs].
[Fickman responds: “I don't know if he told you that he does have a tattoo with my name on it. He has many tattoos, but my name is one of them. That was a special gift when he did that. It's a little creepy, like a stalker.”]
Fandango: So you believe in UFOs. Ever see one?
Johnson: I thought that I saw an alien one time. This was about three years ago, and then I realized I was drunk and once I sobered up I realized that it wasn't an alien. And about six months ago I was driving on the 101 and I saw these lights over by my house. I have no explanation for what they were. There was one big light and there were other little lights dripping out of it, if that makes sense. Then all of a sudden they just took off. Alcohol was notinvolved that time.
Andy Fickman and Dwayne JohnsonFandango: Maybe Fickman set that up to mess with you. You share some scenes with the originalWitch Mountain stars, Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann. Did they share their experiences from the original films? 
Johnson: They talked about how fun and cool it was, and how at that time they really didn't know the magnitude of the classic that they were making. When I was a kid watching the movie I was just impressed that these kids had superpowers and doing a lot of cool things to a lot of bad guys. It was great working with them. They look exactly the same, like 30 years later, which is amazing to me.
Fandango: Kim is Paris Hilton's aunt. Did you know that?
Johnson: I didn't know that until she came to the set and somebody said it. I think it was Andy who told me that. I thought that he was full of crap and that he was trying to set me up for something. Naturally, any time he comes to me with something like that, something that seems so far-fetched I don't believe him and think that a joke is right around the corner.
Fandango: You’ve mastered light comedy and the family film. There’s one more – Tooth Fairy – coming up, but do you see a shift toward different genres coming for you?
Johnson: Absolutely. It was coincidental that I did three big families movies in a row, and the shift now is to go into a more dramatic space. [My next film] has a great The Good, The Bad and The Ugly-type feel. I love Clint Eastwood.
Zac Efron and Dwayne JohnsonFandango: Johnny Quest is a real possibility too, with Zac Efron as Johnny and you as Race Bannon? 
Johnson: They're rewriting it now with Andy developing it. We're all very, very excited about the potential of what that could be and how big and cool it could be. Zac and I spent some time together, and he’s a great guy who – not too dissimilar to my situation eight or nine years ago – is looking forward to working in a different genre. He and I together with Andy directing is intriguing to me.
Fandango: Can’t resist: your thoughts on The Wrestler?
Johnson: I called Mickey [Rourke] right away, as soon as I saw it, and I gave him a lot of love. I can tell you from experience that they created a very authentic world, that underbelly of the glitz and glamour and the wonderful spectacle that is professional wrestling. The character that Mickey played is a man that I know very well. Those guys are members of my own family, friends of mine, who have a hard time letting the wrestling business go because, frankly, that's all they know how to do. I'm talking about very close members of my family.Immediate members of my family. So that's why that movie really resonated with me. I was very, very proud of Mickey and of his performance. My uncle actually trained Mickey for the movie. He would give me updates on not only Mickey’s performance as he was developing but also his commitment. He stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park.