Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is officially an icon.
The actor and professional wrestler took it upon himself to bestow a bit of advice upon the world at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards while accepting the Generation Award honor.
Before gracing the stage, host Zachary Levi introduced the former University of Miami football star by highlighting a number of his lifetime achievements, before showing a montage of Johnson’s most memorable moments from the big screen and television.
It was then, that Johnson, 47, danced his way onto the stage – by way of a Samoan pride number to Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
Donning an olive and gold bomber jacket with pink and light blue animal accents, fixed over a clean white T-shirt and burgundy form-fitting slacks and loafers, the “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” star struck a macho pose before his soliloquy.
“Thank you. Thank you so much. Well first of all, I want to thank the dancers and the choreographers Dave Scott and John Silver. Give it up for them — my boys! Thank you to MTV for this awesome — their really incredible, prestigious award,” Johnson began before shouting out the leading ladies in his life.
“I also want to thank my family at home. My girls — I got a houseful of strong ass women. But mainly, I want to thank the ones who make this whole thing happen. I want to thank you — the people, the fans. I thank you. All of you at home, you are the reason I'm getting this, so I wanna share a really quick lesson with you guys that I've learned over the years.”
The former WWE superstar recalled his journey to stardom and the lifelong lessons he’s picked up along the way.
“The most powerful thing that we can be is ourselves. I love what Zachary was saying because that's us. We were always that little kid. We're still that little kid. Right — just aspiring to be something better. Aspiring to be important.”
“When I first got to Hollywood — Hollywood, they didn't know what the hell to do with me. I mean, I was this half-black, half-Samoan and six foot four, 275-pound pro wrestler. You know; I was told at that time, 'Well, you got to be a certain way. You got to drop some weight. You've got to be somebody different. You got to stop working out. Stop doing the things that I love. You got to stop calling yourself The Rock.' What?!”
He continued: “And for years I actually bought into it because you think, 'Oh, that's what I'm supposed to do.' And I was miserable doing that. So I made a choice. And the choice was I wasn't going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me. So, Hollywood conformed to me and here I am with all of you getting the Generation Award. Holy s---,” Johnson said as the audience erupted.
In Johnson’s speech, the funnyman and producer explained the importance of self-love and remaining steadfast, being true to who we are as individuals.
“What you saw here tonight, that's who I am. I'm proudly half-black and half-Samoan and I wanted to bring those cultures here for the world to see. So yes, it's important that you are your most authentic self,” he said referencing the Samoan dance performance.
“I'm a walking example of that, but here's the thing that I want to share with you guys – that's not enough. Because there's another side to being your authentic self, your true self – and that's the side that the magic is on. That's the side that's gold. While yes, it's important to be yourself – you've got to recognize the joy and the responsibility of bringing everybody with you. And you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive and straight up just being good to people because that matters.”
The “Fast and Furious” franchise staple noted the imperativeness of powerful individuals utilizing their platforms for positivity before dolling out his final word of guidance.
“When I was 15 years old, I heard a quote and I will never forget, and I bring it with me everywhere I go and it's ingrained in my DNA,” he explained. “The quote is this: 'It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.’ With that, I love you. I thank you. Drink your tequila. I will see you all down the road.”
The Generation Award celebrates actors whose contributions to film and television have made significant impacts on society and turned them into household names. Past recipients include Jamie Foxx, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pratt, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Bullock and Adam Sandler, among many others.