Donald Trump wasn’t even sworn in as president before the media speculated over what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s future in politics would be.
Now, the pressure is rising to a steady simmer before reaching a boiling point as a run for the presidency weighs heavy on The Rock’s mind. In a feature with GQ magazine, Johnson told Caity Weaver, “I think that it’s a real possibility” that I run for president.
“A year ago,” The Rock says, “it started coming up more and more. There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, ‘Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.’ I didn’t want to be flippant—’We’ll have three days off for a weekend! No taxes!'”
In November, Johnson told Vanity Fair that he wouldn’t rule out a political run in the future and even posted a screengrab of a Washington Post article on his Instagram that read the headline “Dwayne Johnson says he might want to run for president. He could actually win.”
While the media certainly smelled what The Rock was cookin’, his response was modest at best, writing, “More and more pieces like this are popping up due to the Presidential election and they’re cool/fun to read… I care DEEPLY about our county… and the idea of one day becoming President to create real positive impact and global change is very alluring. Buuuuut until that possible day, the most important thing right now is strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country.”
Johnson is the highest-paid movie star on planet Earth, making more than $60 million per year. During the 2016 election, he wisely refused to give an endorsement to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump despite being asked.
“I feel like I’m in a position now where my word carries a lot of weight and influence, which of course is why they want the endorsement,” Johnson said. “But I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the process and felt like if I did share my political views publicly, a few things would happen — and these are all conversations I have with myself, in the gym at four o’clock in the morning—I felt like it would either (a) make people unhappy with the thought of whatever my political view was. And, also, it might sway an opinion, which I didn’t want to do.”
Johnson’s likability — which is certainly off the charts — would take a hit should he step into the political fray. However, his charisma and ability to speak to people from every background would serve him well on the campaign trail.
And while most Democrats abhor Trump, they can at least thank him and his celebrity status (as well as Ronald Reagan) for paving the way for stars like The Rock to seriously consider a career in politics.