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Action star Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock) plays an LAFD rescue team member who can fly a helicopter. What new skills did he acquire for this project and how prepared is he personally for an earthquake? And I asked about his thoughts on real-life earthquakes and this film coming out.
Q: How do you think the earthquake in Nepal will affect the reception of this movie?
Sure, well, great question to kick this thing off. Glad I’m ready! Look, I think that we made the movie knowing and understanding the content of it and what we were making. The world we live in, the life we have today, these things happen. It was so unfortunate, incredibly unfortunate. Prayers and thoughts continue to go out to everybody in Nepal and everybody who was affected by that. The truth is, you go into a project like this with everything you got, your heart and your soul, and you just want to make a good movie. Again, you understand the content of it but I think if there’s one correlating factor or connective tissue, if you will, it would be the ideology of family and strength coming together through a tragedy like this. I’ve been through natural disasters. I was down in Miami — I live down there — for Hurricane Andrew, which was a category five. There were members of my family who thought they were going to die. Everybody was in the bathtub. It was a tough, tough thing. So I think the idea of coming together, like we were showcasing in our story, resonates with people, and I think if there is any connection, and I think I’m answering this question properly, if there’s any connection, for me it would be that.
Q: Do you have an emergency bag in your house?
I do. I have two.
Q: Was there any new training or skill you had to master for this role?
The training part is pretty consistent, but the difference was actually participating in something I’d never participated in before — spending time with first responders, spending time with LAFD, rescue pilots, operating a helicopter, deep dives, drilled-down processes with these guys and girls for a pretty good amount of time. So that was the different part for me. It was exercising a different muscle. As Carla (Gugino, co-star) was saying before, we’ve played characters like this where you’re pretty proficient, you hope to be, at taking care of business, whatever that business is. But in this case, it was very different than anything I had experienced before. So I spent a lot of time here in LA and a lot of time in Australia with those men and women.
San Andreas opens in theaters on May 29th.