In the new action thriller — in theaters today — Johnson plays John Matthews, a father willing do to anything to save his son after a wrongful drug arrest. When MTV News’ Josh Horowitz sat down with Johnson to discuss “Snitch,” the actor shared his experiences reading the script for the first time, how the film is unlike anything he has done before and how his return to the “Fast & Furious” franchise “raised the bar” even higher.
MTV: Does the fact that this is inspired by true events differ your approach to the material?
Johnson: Absolutely. I read this, I loved it. I read it, I was moved. I was compelled by it. I’ve been fortunate to play some pretty cool characters over the years. Guys who go out, and they kick ass and they save the world. This guy was a regular guy, a regular family man who wasn’t a streetwise guy, not street tough in any way but had the heart of a lion. No drug connections, no gang affiliates or anything like that, but then, in order to reduce his son’s sentence, decided that he was gonna infiltrate a very dangerous drug cartel down in Mexico. And it’s funny, as I was reading it,it landed on me, because I would do anything to protect my family. Anything. I know you would too.
MTV: What would you do to protect me, Dwayne? Because I feel like you’ve got a lot of love for me.
Johnson: Josh, I would move heaven and hell to protect you.
MTV: On a serious note, the fact that obviously we’re used to seeing you play larger-than-life characters, but you’re very relatable in this. Has that been something you’ve been looking to play a little bit more?
Johnson: I look for material that I like and that I think audiences will like to see me in and fans will like to see me play… With someone like this, who is a real man, an everyday man, very vulnerable and who, through great crisis, crumbles. He realizes that, in all likelihood, with him infiltrating a drug cartel, he’s gonna die. But yet he’s gonna do it, protecting his son.
MTV: So “Fast and Furious 6″ looks insane, crazy in the best possible way. Do you ever actually fight a car, in the film? ‘Cause I feel like that’s the only way it can top what was in “Fast 5.” How does it top “Fast 5″?
Johnson: I do, I fight a tank. … “Fast 5″ was a great movie, but we really raised the bar. I’m proud of what we did and I can’t wait for the world to see it. As I like to say, in “Fast 5″ my character and Vin [Diesel’s] character locked horns. In “Fast 6,” we ride or die.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Snitch.”