Will you vote for what The Rock is cooking? Dwayne Johnson is riding high as one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, but he may eventually turn his eye toward politics.
The action star first floated the idea in 2016, tweeting “maybe one day” in response to a fan who suggested that he should run for president. While Johnson may have been joking, political columnists took the idea and ran with it, including Washington Post columnist Alyssa Rosenberg, who wrote a piece in June 2016 about why he “could actually win” if he decided to run.
“More and more pieces like this are popping up due to the Presidential election and they’re cool/fun to read,” Johnson wrote via Instagram in response. “I care DEEPLY about our [country] … and the idea of one day becoming President to create real positive impact and global change is very alluring.”
While he then encouraged fans to focus on “strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country,” Johnson has since broached the topic several more times — and politicos have taken the bait. In November 2023, Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle authored another article positing that Johnson could likely beat former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup.
“American politics is sleepwalking toward disaster,” Von Drehle wrote. “Dwayne Johnson is the man to wake us up.”
Keep scrolling to read everything Johnson has said about running for president:
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Johnson told Vanity Fair when asked whether he would consider running, pointing to the 2016 election of Trump as evidence that seasoned politicians don’t always prevail. “It would be a great opportunity to help people, so it’s possible. This past election shows that anything can happen.”
“A year ago, it started coming up more and more,” Johnson said in a GQ interview when discussing the 2016 Washington Post op-ed about his potential campaign. “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!’”
Of running, he added: “I think that’s a real possibility.”
Johnson told Variety he would “100 percent” consider running but noted that he wouldn’t be able to continue his work as an actor.
“It was never something that I trumpeted and beat my chest and ever said publicly, ‘This is what I’m going to do,’ but as that story picked up, Americans picked it up and there was this sentiment of, ‘We’re not joking, and we would really love the idea if you would run,’” he said. “In that, I knew I had to listen to the people and really, really think about it. That’s where I’m at right now — I’m well aware politics is not the business I’m in, so the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can. I’m continuing to watch our presidency and watch how every new development is handled. I continue to watch our leaders in government, and like all Americans, I continue to be hopeful that our leaders exhibit poise, perspective and the ability to bring our country together during these tough times — which I don’t feel our presidency is currently doing — so that’s where I’m at.”
He added: “I care deeply about our country, and I care deeply about our people — especially now. Decency matters and being a decent human being matters, and character matters, and leadership matters.”
Johnson also toyed with the idea of choosing a vice presidential candidate. “Two necessities off the top of my mind are that I’d want my VP to be a tremendous leader and a high-quality human being,” he explained. “Whether that’s from Hollywood, Washington, the medical field, Wall Street or education.”
After a poll showed that 46 percent of Americans would support a Johnson campaign, he responded with good humor via social media. “Not sure our Founding Fathers ever envisioned a six-four, bald, tattooed, half-Black, half-Samoan, tequila drinking, pick up truck driving, fanny pack wearing guy joining their club — but if it ever happens it’d be my honor to serve the people,” he tweeted.
In a Vanity Fair profile, Johnson admitted that he’d started exploring what a campaign might look like. “[I’ve done] a small amount of research and analysis to see where this comes from and to see what it could look like in the future,” he explained, adding that “indicators are all very positive — in, for example, 2024, and in, for example, 2028.”
He went on to confess that he doesn’t have a ton of expertise when it comes to lawmaking. “You know, at the end of the day, I don’t know the first thing about politics,” he said. “I don’t know the first thing about policy. I care deeply about our country. I care about every f–king American who bleeds red, and that’s all of them. And — there’s no delusion here — I may have some decent leadership qualities, but that doesn’t necessarily make me a great presidential candidate.”
Johnson said a political campaign was “off the table” because he wants to focus on raising his family. He shares daughter Simone (born in 2001) with ex-wife Dany Garcia and daughters Jasmine (born in 2015) and Tiana (born in 2018) with wife Lauren Hashian.
“I love our country and everyone in it. I also love being a daddy,” he explained during an interview with CBS Mornings. “That’s the most important thing to me, is being a daddy, No. 1, especially during this time, this critical time in my daughters’ lives. Because I know what it was like to be on the road and be so busy that I was absent for a lot of years in my first daughter’s [life].”
During an interview on Trevor Noah’s “What Now?” podcast, Johnson claimed that members of unnamed “parties” asked him in late 2022 to consider running for president after a poll showed 46 percent of Americans would support his campaign. “It was a big deal, and it came out of the blue,” he said. “It was one after the other, and they brought up that poll, and they also brought up their own deep-dive research that would prove that should I ever go down that road [I’d be a real contender]. It was all very surreal because that’s never been my goal. My goal has never been to be in politics. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot about politics that I hate.”
Johnson went on to say that his wrestling career often took him away from his eldest daughter, Simone, when she was a child, so he didn’t want that to happen with his younger kids. “That was one of my primary discussions with the parties, who were ultimately like, ‘Yeah, but the other ones have done it like this,’” he explained, adding that he hasn’t ruled out a run entirely. “If that’s ultimately what the people would want, then of course I would consider it.”
Later in the month, Johnson told Jimmy Fallon that “it never stops being surreal” to hear people talk about wanting him to lead the nation. “I was wrestling in flea markets for 40 bucks per match, hoping that, ‘Hey, I just want a free corn dog at the end of the night.’ And now here we are, years later, I’m sitting with you, and this talk has come up. I’m so grateful,” Johnson said, adding that he would “down the road” consider a campaign, perhaps after his children are older. “I know what that’s like to have an occupation that takes me away from being a daddy. And that’s the most important thing to me.”
“Here’s what I can tell you with 100 percent certainty and surety is that I believe in working hard, controlling the controllables and putting in all the hard work with your own two hands, and being humble, hungry and grateful, kicking ass and always give back,” he said during an interview with Today when asked about running for office. “That’s what I can tell you. So, it’s not a no.”