“This movie came along at a really good time, I’ve been playing some intense characters, and hunting bad men down and doing violent things to them, so it was a nice change of pace to make a movie in 3D,” he told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column at the Hollywood premiere of “Journey 2: Mysterious Island.” “And I thought if I was going to go back into the family genre I wanted it to feel big and special. I want to feel big like ‘Pirates.’”
“We shot it in Hawaii which was a very special place for me because I’m from Hawaii, I was raised in Hawaii and we struggled a lot,” he said of his childhood. “So to go back and do something of this size and magnitude was such a cool thing.”
Doing a family film still had plenty of challenges for Johnson – like restraining the “adult” themes in his mind, especially when it came to bouncing berries from his chest.
“We called it the ‘Pec Pop of Love.’ The inspiration was we took James Cameron’s advanced technology, even after ‘Avatar’ he went back and advanced the technology even more, and we were the first beneficiaries of that,” he continued. “So we thought, ‘how can I utilize my body in 3D in a way that has never been utilized before – and is appropriate to the audiences?’ I have inappropriate ways in my head… But it’s a family film.”
Johnson's shorter co-stars had to struggle just to stay in the same camera shot with the gargantuan star.
“The biggest filming challenge for me was trying to get up tall enough to be in the shot with Dwayne – how do I get up tall enough without being on a box? Because if you’re on a box, you have to step off and it makes it very awkward," Kristin Davis laughed.
And although she’s best known for portraying Charlotte on the provocative “Sex and the City,” Davis jumped at the opportunity to play a sweet mom in the sex-and-swearing free film.
“It’s wonderful to do things that are relatable and not worry that your goddaughter – my goddaughter is her somewhere – is going to see it,” she added. “I love to make something fun for everyone, and just have a good time.”
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay