Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson opens up on his mother's suicide attempt
Dwayne Johnson has had a hell of a ride. While he was immensely popular as The People's Champion in WWE, no one really expects professional wrestlers to make their way into the movie business with much success. For every Rock or Dave Bautista you've got Stone Cold Steve Austin's terrible direct-to-DVD action movies ('Maximum Conviction', anyone?).
And, when his first movie appearance was in The Scorpion King, things weren't necessarily looking too great; but now, in 2018, he's the go-to Hollywood actor for comedies and action movies alike, with some people even encouraging him to run for president in 2020. He actually ranked as one of the highest-grossing actors of last year, which isn't much of a surprise when you see how many huge blockbusters he's been in lately.
But things weren't always running so smoothly for the wrestler-turned-actor. He played football for four years at the University of Miami, but was passed over by the NFL. He ended up playing for the Canadian Football League for a short while, but was cut from his team, the Calgary Stampeders. At 23 he was living in a small apartment with his parents and lost for what to do, which is when depression set in.
Johnson has previously opened up in a way that men often don't do, speaking about how he has struggled with depression and other personal demons in his 20s. In a 2015 interview as part of the Master Class series on the Oprah Winfrey Network, he spoke about this process and how he got through it.
He has now posted a very personal story on Instagram to remind others to look out for each other during these tough moments, referring to the time his mother attempted suicide when he was a teenager.
In his HBO show Ballers, a character recently committed suicide, which got him thinking about "how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family" and what we have to do to help people get through dark chapters such as these. The photo shows him filming in a graveyard, and the caption read:
"Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my character’s brother, William who committed suicide. Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another.
My mom tried to check out when I was 15. She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic. Big rigs and cars swerving outta the way not to hit her. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t."
"S**ts of a scene to shoot - didn’t like it - but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case."
While not all of us will have gone through the same things that Johnson did, we can all take his words to heart and spend a little more attention to those around us who might be in pain.