He sings, he dances, he cracks jokes: That’s right, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, one of cinema’s biggest tough guys, has gone soft. And he has 9-year-old Madison Pettis, one of the co-stars in his new flick, “The Game Plan,” to blame. The respective former pro wrestler and Disney Channel star sat down with MTV News in what turned out to be more variety show than interview, beginning with a little serenade …
MTV: The singing in this movie — it’s so silly. Since we’re MTV, I was wondering if would do us the honor of a song.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: Oh, that’s funny, but let me explain to you something my friend: Humility is something we take pride in. [He sings softly:] Are you lonesome …
Madison Pettis: Tonight! …
Johnson: … Do you miss me …
Pettis: … Tonight!
Johnson: Are you sorry we drifted …
Pettis: … Apart!
Johnson: [To Pettis:] Very good. Good memory.
MTV: What’s the silliest thing about this young lady here next to you?
Johnson: The wonderment. Just the wonderment and the newness and the freshness of life — the zest of life. The silliness of talking about clogs or the silliness of me saying to her, “Do you know how to read yet or did you just start learning?” Silliness like that.
Pettis: Just us talking about what I did yesterday and talking about my American Girl dolls.
Johnson: All that. To get silly laughs and things like that, I always think, is great. That’s the kind of stuff and the type of memories that we always want to model as parents. [Pettis leans over and hugs him.] I trained her very well! [To Pettis:] Now just please tell him just how brilliant and handsome I am.
MTV: How about instead you tell me what the silliest thing about this gentleman is.
Pettis: The silliest thing? There’s really no silly things about Dwayne. He’s always just really sweet …
Johnson: … Manly.
Pettis: Yes. Brilliant and handsome.
MTV: You’re going to tell me he doesn’t look silly when he’s wearing the tights at the ballet?
Pettis: He looked kind of silly there. His personality isn’t silly, he’s just really — OK that was hilarious. [Big laughs all around.]
Johnson: That was hilarious. It was ridiculous and I looked very, very silly. And let me tell you something: Don’t kid yourself, but don’t knock putting on a one-piece, green, tight leotard. Don’t knock it. Guys, don’t knock it out there.
Pettis: A unitard.
Johnson: Unitard? Don’t call me that. That’s very unkind, that’s not cool. This is MTV.
MTV: I understand you went through some pretty heavy training for the ballet, is that right?
Johnson: The truth is Madison comes from a ballet background, a dancing background.
Pettis: For five years.
Johnson: Please don’t interrupt me like that. I had to learn ballet through Madison. She was very patient. I hurt myself at that time with the Boston Ballet.
Pettis: Yeah, they were incredible to dance with, they were just awesome. I’ve taken all kinds of dance for five years. I’ve taken [Johnson lazily counts off each on his fingers] ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, hip-hop, lyrical, modern, flamenco, clogging, we even do the robot. [She looks up at Johnson.] Want to show them how it’s done?
[Johnson and Pettis do the robot.]
MTV: It helps to get taught ballet from Roselyn Sanchez.
Johnson: Roselyn was wonderful. She’s great in the movie. We needed a woman who could stand up to me and give me stuff back. As much as I was dishing it to her, she’d have to be able to give it back to me, and Roselyn slipped great into that role. She was awesome.
MTV: Madison, I know you’re on “Cory in the House” — I was wondering if you had anything movie-wise coming up?
Pettis: Not movie-wise, but we’re filming the second season of “Cory in the House.” Dwayne actually guest-starred on “Cory in the House” and “Hannah Montana.” It was called “Rock Block.”
Johnson: I did all the things that you would expect from me, from the Rock: tea, I drank tea, which was great. And then I went on “Hannah Montana” and had a complete makeover; they put me in a wig and makeup. I felt oddly comfortable, I don’t know why. We’re going to have to take our show on the road.
(“The Game Plan” aside, it isn’t all kids’ play these days for the Rock: Read about him gearing up for the superhero flick “Shazam,” and help him decide which role to play in the flick, on the MTV Movies blog.)
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