Young Rock EP Dwayne Johnson Offers Prod Update: "Gotta Be Authentic"

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (WWE superstar, Ballers, Jumanji: The Next Level) wants to make sure his fans know how things are flowing with the production on NBC's upcoming dramedy based on the multimedia bigwig's early years. Taking to Instagram, Johnson shared an image of himself with series creator and writer Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat) going over a script to fine-tune the dialogue for authenticity. "Excellent work week on set of our new TV series, "YOUNG ROCK" coming soon to @NBC. Working very closely with our series creator, Nahnatchka Khan. She's a brilliant (and very funny) creative partner who I trust with my wild life story growing up.," Johnson commented in his post. "We examine every word from every character because these are all real people, real family who are still in my life and those who have passed away. Gotta be authentic and get it right. The good, the bad, the heartbreaking, the heartwarming and the f*cking hilarious. Can't wait for you guys to watch this show."

Young Rock: Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, is the new owner of the XFL.
Dwayne Johnson (Young Rock), aka The Rock, is the new owner of the XFL.

Here's a look at Johnson's post from Sunday afternoon:

 

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Khan is developing the series and co-writing the pilot with Jeff Chiang (Fresh Off the Boat), with Johnson set to appear in each episode. 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.

 

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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.

 

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#YOUNGROCK This kid @adriangroulx is our anchor and my hero 👊🏾 He's got the hardest job of 'em of all playing "little Dewey" – yes, unfortunately that was the nickname my God parents gave me after the weather – as in dewdrops. Jesus. 🤦🏽‍♂️😂 At 10yrs old, I was rambunctious as all hell 😈, was already girl crazy 😜 and loved pro wrestling — especially the part when wrestlers would bleed 🩸🥴💀🤣 This kid, Adrian is my hero because I look back at this time in my life so fondly and how I viewed the world thru my 10yr old eyes. I was all these things but at the core I was a sweet little boy and a complicated little cub 🐻 who just needed guidance. Years later here we are and I did alright 🙏🏾👊🏾 This passion project is special and I'm boundless grateful to EVERYONE who is lending their talents, passion, love and mana to bring it to life. Can't wait for you guys to watch this one! #ComplicatedCub #LittleDewey #YOUNGROCK @sevenbucksprod @NBC

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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.

 

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#YOUNGROCK This role is a special one and HIGHLY entertaining. Playing my grandma, Lia Maivia will be the one of a kind, Ana Tuisila. Cool backstory: My grandmother, Lia Maivia was pro wrestling's first women's promoter. She HAD TO BE tough as nails in a male dominated, shark infested world of wrestling. She set the bar for tough business practices and also set the bar for how loving a sweet grandma could be to her only grandson – me ☺️ She was also charged by the feds for extortion, eventually deported, became homeless and lost everything in the early 90's. Crazy life. I was blessed enough to help change that hard time scenario around and get her back on her feet. Her journey was unreal and can't wait for you guys to watch! #StrongWomen #YOUNGROCK @sevenbucksprod @NBC

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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!

 

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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!

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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