Who doesn’t love Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? He’s an amazing actor who puts 1000% into everything he does. He’s also come a long way from being a famed wrestler. In his new film, Jumanji: The Next Level he shows grown men that it’s okay to show emotion.
When you think of The Rock you’ll think of the famous WWE wrestler, right? Well… most people know Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs, Maui, Hercules, and Mitch Buchannon, just to name a few. However, what make him such a memorable face is the fact he is generous and gets invested in the roles he plays. However, the character we’re talking about today is his Jumanji persona, Xander “Smolder” Bravestone.
Meet Smolder Bravestone
In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, we meet the Avatar of Spencer Gilpin, Dr Smolder Bravestone when he and his friends randomly choose characters before being sucked in the game. We learn very quickly that the avatar and the teenager are very different to each other.
While Spencer is a smart kid who has been roped into doing his friend Fridge’s homework, Smolder is a big strong guy with a gentle heart but has to remain heroic and intimidating. As the film continues, it’s evident that Spencer finds purpose as Bravestone which carries over to the sequel.
The Rock’s performance in the first movie gets the audience’s attention of showing him playing the opposite of a teenage boy struggling to find his purpose. This struggle is what makes the characters of both Spencer and Bravestone so relatable.
How The Rock Shows Men It’s Okay To Be Emotional
If there’s one thing The Rock excels at, it’s portraying characters who appear tough on the outside, but have big hearts that they aren’t allow to show. Look at Hercules for example.
In the 2014 film Hercules, the titular character spends most of the film believing he murdered his wife and children. However, this didn’t end up being the case with King Eurystheus ordering their deaths and framing the hero.
Hercules feels massive amounts of guilt for what he allegedly did, but is far from pleased to learn that his former employer framed him. Here’s a man who had everything to live before having it ripped out from under him. The Rock does an amazing job at showing these emotions.
The actor has three daughters and is seen to be a devoted father on Instagram where they make constant appearances. Seeing a man interact with his kids the way Dwayne does is just beautiful and it shows in Hercules. It also shows in the two Jumanji films he has done with the interactions between Bravestone and the other avatars.
What It Takes To Be A True Leading Man
Every male actor wants to be a leading man once they build up their resume of acting projects. However, what does it mean to be a leading man in Hollywood?
The Rock is the principle example of what it takes to be a leading man and not allowing the status to go to the head. When it comes to roles such as Hank Parsons in Journey 2 The Mysterious Island who is seen as a tough dude, the character is actually a kind guy who wants to help his stepson. However, he has a love-hate relationship with Sean’s paternal grandfather, Alexander when they meet.
While Hank is different to Smolder in every definition of the word, there is one similarity that defines who they are. They have a love of helping people. Parsons helps to save his stepson’s grandfather while Bravestone is a savior of Jumanji.
The Rock is all of these things and so much more.
More Than A Leading Man
The reason fans love The Rock is because he gets in amongst the fans. One example is when he and Kevin Hart showed up to screenings of Jumanji: The Next Level with merch.
He also shows that he himself is a fan of the comic book genre as seen with his commitment to having a Black Adam movie being made. He is even a producer on Shazam! alongside his ex-wife and business partner Dany Garcia. Not to mention, The Rock has been attached to a Black Adam film for over a decade. That’s what we call commitment.
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