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In "Walking Tall," former pro wrestler Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson plays a man who returns to his hometown only to find things aren't quite the way he left them. So he gets his hands dirty while cleaning up the corruption, and he brings along "Jackass" star Johnny Knoxville for a little help and some comic relief. As the tattooed action star explained to MTV News' Ryan J. Downey, Knoxville's antics weren't limited to what was spelled out in the script.

MTV: How do you think Johnny Knoxville did in this movie, especially doing those stunts? I would imagine everyone would be like, "Oh, you're the 'Jackass' guy."

The Rock: He did great, and he had a stunt double. And to his credit he was like, "Nah, no way, no stunt double!" And that guy, he was getting his ass whooped and still got up with a smile and was like, "Let's just do it again." Plus I expected that from him. I spent a lot of time with him anyway prior to us filming, so I knew. You know, you gotta be a little tweaked and twanked a little bit if you're Johnny Knoxville, and he did an awesome job.

 The Rock trashes a casino.
MTV: Did he crack you up on the set?

The Rock: Oh yeah. Yeah, well, that's the thing. You know, we'd be in this scene together and it's somewhat of a dramatic scene and he's telling me, "Listen, I went to jail, I was on drugs" and things like that. And I'm trying to listen to him, and until right before the director would yell "Action!," Johnny would be eating something crazy like tuna fish and peanut butter or sour milk and who knows whatever else — dirt and salamanders, whatever — and he'd drink, like, soda and right before the take, he'd be like [he pretends to throw up] and blow it in my face. I'd be like, "Oh God!," and I'd chase after him, but you know, that wouldn't work.

 "Walking Tall" Photos
MTV: In your last few movies, you've had an old-school tribal tattoo. What's the story behind that?

The Rock: In Polynesian culture, Samoan culture, tattooing is very big and it's very spiritual and it basically tells a story. It tells a story of love and loyalty and protection — protecting people around me. You know, failure, successes, things like that. And it covers my chest. It kinda goes everywhere. But I'm completely done now.

MTV: So no more?

The Rock: Um, maybe a little bit more. But you know how it is. Everyone out there who gets ink and gets tattoos, it's like it's never-ending. You always find something else to do.

MTV: In "Walking Tall," the tattoo is covered up.

The Rock: Yeah, and it probably takes about two hours to cover everything up, so it just requires you to get up at like 2:30 or 3 a.m. in the morning. [He laughs.] That makes everybody happy. They're like, "Oh, Rock, wow, you got an amazing new tattoo. That's another hour and a half [earlier] that we've got to get up ..."

MTV: You must get a lot of respect wherever you go because of who you are, and your tattoo ties into your heritage. But not just anyone can get away with one of those, right?

The Rock: I've had two very spiritual artists work on me from over on the islands who have that vibe and have that ability to symbolically tell, through tattooing, the story and what story you want to tell. And whether you're white, whether you're Asian, whether you're Puerto Rican, it doesn't matter. When you go over there to the islands, it's pride. And it's [because of] that island pride that they would take pride in tattooing you and any story you wanted to tell symbolically through Polynesian art. They'd do it for you. Yeah, in a second, sure, because to get a tattoo like that, it makes you proud, so it would make us proud to put it on you, for sure.




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