EXCLUSIVE: We’ll be seeing more of André the Giant on Young Rock. Matthew Willig, who recurred as the character on the first season, has been promoted to series regular for Season 2 of Dwayne Johnson’s NBC comedy series inspired by his life. The series comes from Johnson and Fresh Off the Boat creator/executive producer Nahnatchka Khan.
Willig’s André, one of the biggest stars in the history of wrestling, commands respect wherever he goes. André was very private and didn’t let many people in, but he was very close to the Johnson family and had a unique and beautiful relationship with Dewey (Johnson’s nickname when he was a young boy) who idolized the 8th Wonder of the World.
Willig appeared in 6 episodes in the first season.
Young Rock focuses on different chapters of Johnson’s life. From growing up in a strong and resilient family to being surrounded by the wild characters of his professional wrestling family to playing football at the University of Miami, the show explores the crazy rollercoaster that has shaped Dwayne into the man he is today and the larger-than-life characters he’s met along the way.
André the Giant, who stood around seven feet tall, was a French professional wrestler and actor. During the 1980s wrestling boom he feuded with Hulk Hogan in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). Outside of wrestling, he was best known for appearing as Fezzik the giant in The Princess Bride. After his death in 1993, he became the inaugural inductee into the newly created WWF Hall of Fame.
Johnson stars alongside Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu, Ana Tuisila, Fasitua Amosa and John Tui.
Young Rock is produced by Universal Television, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions with Johnson, Nahnatchka Khan, Jeff Chiang, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jennifer Carreras as executive producers on season one.
Willig, former NFL star and Super Bowl winner with the 1999 St. Louis Rams, turned to acting when an injury ended his football career. Past television credits include recurring roles on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Dexter and NCIS, as well as guest starring roles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Grimm, Charmed, Chuck and Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television. His film work includes Birds of Prey, We Are the Millers and Year One. Willig is repped by KMR Talent.