Dwayne Johnson’s unconventional journey to Hollywood has led him to become one of the highest paid actors in the world. His growing business empire includes his Seven Bucks production company, Teremana Tequila, ZOA Energy Drink and a partnership with Under Armour. His new movie, Jungle Cruise, inspired by the iconic Disney ride, will debut in theaters and on Disney+ Premier on July 30. And now Johnson, 49, sits atop PEOPLE’s list of 100 Reasons to Love America.
“It feels great. I’ve been a lucky guy over the years to have the career that I’ve been blessed enough to have,” says Johnson, who was photographed and interviewed in Hawaii for this week’s issue. “And things like this, I’m always appreciative. We’re here in Hawaii, where I did a lot of my growing up… I was just Dwayne Johnson, the kid who’s having a hard time going to school making his classes. I never expected in my wildest of wild dreams that I would ever be in a position to be on the cover of PEOPLE – and certainly not with this kind of title.”
Over the last year during the pandemic, Johnson became even more appreciative of his “blessed” life with wife Lauren Hashian, 36, their daughters Jasmine, 5, and Tia, 3, and his daughter Simone, 19, with ex-wife and production partner Dany Garcia, 52.
“It was a shakeup for us,” the actor admits. “I did this weird thing every day where I still got up and got dressed like I was getting ready to go someplace. I mean, shoes and all. That helped me psychologically. On a relationship and marriage standpoint, you realize you have to really be attentive to your reactions and responses, because your patience capacity starts to compress.”
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