Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Champions Fans to Be Themselves at 2021 People's Choice Awards

Before accepting the People's Champion Award, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reflected on his start in Hollywood and how he went from nearly broke to one of the highest-paid actors in town.

By Mike Vulpo Dec 08, 2021 2:16 AMTags

Dwayne Johnson is ready to rock the 2021 People's Choice Awards.

Before receiving the People's Champion Award on Dec. 7, the actor stopped by Live From the Red Carpet where he couldn't help but express excitement for the night ahead. 

"What an amazing way to cap off the year with this award," he told Laverne Cox. "I'm blessed. I'm grateful and lucky." 

While the A-list star has become one of Hollywood's highest paid actors, it wasn't always that way. While on the red carpet, Dwayne reflected on his childhood where he found himself "broke" and struggling financially. Now, he's in a position to help deserving individuals. 

"What really inspires me is just people. I have a curiosity about people," he explained. "I believe in humanity and also, I'm in a position where I can do it. And it wasn't always like this. There were times where I didn't have it to give and I didn't have it period." 

People's Choice Awards 2021: Red Carpet Fashion
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

For Dwayne, his arrival into Hollywood was met with skeptics who predicted he wouldn't go far.

"I was told then you can't be as big, you can't talk about wrestling, you can't call yourself The Rock, you have to change your diet, you have to lose weight," he recalled. "There were a lot of things you can't, you can't, you can't and if you want to be the next George Clooney or leading man, then this is how you have to be."

While he bought into the noise for a bit, his gut told him to be himself. The results turned out to be priceless. 


Brian Bowen Smith

"My name is The Rock," he shared. "I come from a world of wrestling, which I love. I don't want to get on a diet. This is me. And if I fail being myself, then that's okay. That was the turning point in my career." 

Now, Dwayne can call himself a 15-time PCAs nominee and two-time winner. And while wearing a custom Dolce & Gabbana look styled by Ilaria Urbinati, the actor prepared to receive one of the biggest awards of the night. 

Dwayne will be recognized for his contributions to the entertainment industry, entrepreneurial endeavors and unwavering commitment to supporting children and families in need through multiple philanthropic partnerships.

"Humbled and moved to receive the People's Champ Award from you, the people," The Rock previously shared on Instagram. "I can say this is the most special because of what it actually represents, which is an idea that will always be much bigger than me...Taking care of people."

He added, "Love you guys and this award will TRULY my honor to accept." 

Watch the 2024 People’s Choice Awards anytime on Peacock or online.