Dwayne Johnson for president? Not likely anytime soon, but then again it could all come down to two mysterious words.
In an interview for the May cover story of Rolling Stone, Johnson was asked about the stories that keep cropping up these past few years about the Rampage actor following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono and Donald Trump. Rolling Stone cites a poll last year that had Johnson beating Trump head-to-head, 42 to 37.
So, will he?
The short answer: Don’t hold your breath.
“I mean, look,” Johnson tells RS, “people are very excited, and it’s so flattering that they’re excited. I think it’s also a function of being very unsatisfied with our current president. But this is a skill set that requires years and years of experience. On a local level, on a state level and then on a national level. I have the utmost respect for our country and that position, and I’m not delusioned in any way to think, ‘Oh, absolutely, if Trump can do it, I can do it, and I’ll see you in 20-whatever, get ready.’ Not at all.”
Johnson, who admits he didn’t vote in the 2016 election and regrets it, says Trump’s election has taught the country some lessons.
“I think in a lot of people’s minds, what Trump has proved is that anybody can run for president,” Johnson says. “And in a lot of people’s minds, what he’s also proved is that not everybody should run for president. What I’m sensing now is that we have to pivot back to people who have a deep-rooted knowledge of American history and politics and experience in policy and how laws get made. I think that pivot has to happen.”
Still, Johnson concedes he’s had “under the radar” meetings with various politicos of all persuasions, “Just soaking in and listening.” But, he says, “I feel like the best thing I can do now is, give me years.”
And when he’s ready? Johnson claims a “well-known political figure” said that when the actor is ready for the Oval Office, he’s to text this figure two words, and nothing else: “Freedom patriot.”
Regarding politics of a different sort — the on-set kind — Johnson addressed his not-secret friction with Fate of the Furious co-star Vin Diesel. he confirms that the two actors did not actually shoot their scene at the same time.
“That is correct. We were not in any scenes together,” Johnson tells RS. “Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer. And what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach moviemaking and collaborating. It took me some time, but I’m grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not.”
Johnson was uncertain as to whether he’d go along with Universal’s next Furious installment, set for 2020. Instead he’s focusing on next year’s Hobbs and Shaw, a franchise spinoff starring Johnson and Jason Statham.
Says Johnson: “Right now I’m concentrating on making the spinoff as good as it can be. I wish [Diesel] all the best, and I harbor no ill will there, just because of the clarity we have. Actually, you can erase that last part about ‘no ill will.’ We’ll just keep it with the clarity.”