At the beginning of 2020 (which feels like ten years ago), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (WWE superstar, Ballers, The Titan Games, Jumanji: The Next Level) and NBC announced a straight-to-series order for Young Rock, and now we're learning who's been tapped to play Johnson and his family during the early, formative years of the WWE star-turned-movie-star-and-more's life (with Johnson set to appear in each episode). Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan will develop the series and co-write the pilot with Jeff Chiang (Fresh Off the Boat), with Johnson and Khan serving as executive producers. Here's a look at the cast, along with Johnson's Instagram posts introducing them on Wednesday morning.
Set to premiere in 2021, the cast of Young Rock includes Adrian Groulx as Johnson (aka Dewey) at age 10 – described as honest, headstrong, impressionable, and bold. Bradley Constant portrays Johnson at age 15, where he's doing his best to fit in as a normal teenager but puberty has other ideas. His size and full mustache have his classmates convinced he's an undercover cop. Uli Latukefu's Johnson (age 18-20) has just been recruited to play football on a full scholarship at powerhouse University of Miami. Though a superstar talent, a devastating injury during his freshman year puts his life at a crossroads.
Stacey Leilua portrays Johnson's mother Ata Johnson, who grew up in a first-generation pro wrestling family. A strong woman by both nature and necessity, she's a hopeful positive force in young Dwayne's life. Joseph Lee Anderson portrays Rocky Johnson, Dwayne's father. Described as charismatic and charming, the pro wrestling champion juggles the ups and downs of his career with being a well-intentioned, but unorthodox, husband and father. Ana Tuisila's Lia Maivia is Ata's mother and Johnson's grandmother. The first female pro-wrestling promoter in the country, Lia is a sweet, loving grandmother- but when need be? She can easily be a cutthroat, ruthless businesswoman.
At the beginning of the year when news of the series was first announced, Johnson took to Instagram to offer his thoughts on what it felt like to be bringing his childhood story to the small screen:
For the first time ever I'm bringing you along with me to experience my insanely unbelievable childhood, teenage years and adolescence. My close friends refer to me as the big, brown tattooed Forrest Gump because of everyone and everything that has weaved in and out of my surreal life. I've seen it all my friends – success, failure, homelessness, evictions, suicide attempts, arrests, hard times, good times, low times, high times. And all this shit happened to me by the time I turned 21 😂🤦🏽♂️ This is a show about my young life. And the lessons I learned. The good, the bad, the ugly but ALWAYS FUNNY 😂 Excited to bring you on this journey of taking a look at my past life, thru the lens of what the future holds. And who knows what that might 😉🇺🇸 be. @nbc @sevenbucksprod #fiercebabyproductions #YOUNGROCK Coming soon!
NBC's Young Rock is executive produced by Khan, Johnson, Chiang, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz, and Jennifer Carreras. The show will be produced by Universal Television, Seven Bucks Productions, and Fierce Baby Productions.