Dwayne Johnson shed his WWE moniker “The Rock” to put his wrestling days behind him and focus on legitimizing his acting career. Then he went crazy and starred in The Game Plan and The Tooth Fairy. Although Johnson has recently packed the muscle back on to reclaim the action-star status he was known for, he now has a new theatrical pursuit: portraying country singer Charley Pride.
Pride is the only Black Country musician to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and is also a former semi-pro baseball player that passed up on major league ball to record a country album. Owing to his athletic background, he has quite an imposing presence, so the casting of Johnson may not be too far off the mark. For more quotes from Pride (and to find out if “The Rock” can actually sing), hit the jump.
In an interview with the Telegraph Reporter (via Slash Film), country star Charley Pride mentioned that Dwayne Johnson, and not Terrence Howard as previously thought, would be portraying him under the direction of Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow):
“But then the ball got fumbled. New management took over the studio that was ready to begin site work on it, and a decision was made to put all their resources behind thrillers– fast actioners. They felt that was where the big box office money was then… Now it’s back on track again but with action and comedy star Dwayne Johnson portraying me in the title role.”
As for Pride’s initial reaction to the casting of Dwayne Johnson over Terrence Howard:
“Terrence is no doubt a more in-depth actor academically, but Dwayne is such a force on screen. It startled me a little at first, but he flew down to Dallas and spent a day with me just sitting, talking recently. And when he left it was like parting with an old friend. We had such similar views on so many things.”
After getting over the initial shock of picturing a hulking action star crooning out country tunes, the casting actually seems to fit. Both men have a strong physical presence and possess the charisma and personality to win people over. This could be a step in the right direction for Johnson, who can be seen this weekend in the sure-to-be-blockbuster Fast Five.
“But wait,” you say, “can ‘The Rock’ actually sing?”