Even action heroes like Dwayne Johnson get emotional — the former wrestler broke down in an interview for “Oprah’s Master Class” in which he elaborated on his bond with his daughter, Simone, and recounted his experience with depression.
In a clip from Sunday’s episode, the “San Andreas” and “Furious 7" star gushed about his family life, namely his fiancee, Lauren Hashian, with whom he’s expecting his second daughter, and his 14-year-old daughter, whom he had with his ex-wife.
“I wake up every day so grateful and so thankful that you have someone like that,” the 43-year-old said of Hashian. “Someone you could walk through this world with... this is the kid who grew up an only child and shouldered all the family’s problem. That kid, who had a hard time with relationships to this man today. So, yeah, the smile is real when I think about that.”
The former wrestler with the megawatt smile and the so-called People’s Eyebrow then turned his monologue to his daughter.
“I realized being a father is the greatest job I have ever had. The greatest job I will ever have,” Johnson said. “I always wanted to be a great dad. I always wanted to give Simone things I felt I never got.
“When I held when she was born, I held her in these two hands and I said to her, ‘I will always, always take care of you for the rest of your life. You are safe,’” he continued. “And throughout the years, throughout the up and downs, I’ve realized the most important thing I can do with my daughter is lead our lives with love. Not success. Not fame. Not anything else. But I’m always here for you. I love you.”
Then the actor recounted a conversation with Simone when she was 13 in which he asked her what she loved most about their relationship. That’s when Johnson got choked up and his eyes filled with tears.
“And she said, ‘Well, that I trust you,’” he said. “And for a 13-year-old girl to say that to her dad considering where I was at 13 — the instability I had — and said that I trust you and that we have a very special bond ... and that moved me. At 13, she’s saying that and I couldn’t ask for anything else. I love that girl.”
The former college football star also opened up about his bout with depression when he was passed up during the NFL draft at age 23 then picked up by Canadian league team the Calgary Stampeders only to be dropped from the roster two months later.
“I found that, with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone,” Johnson said in another clip. “You’re not the first to go through it; you’re not going to be the last to go through it”
Johnson, who had a tumultuous childhood that included arrests and a chip on his shoulder before discovering football in high school, moved back in with his parents at the time but said he still felt alone.
After he stayed home for a month and a half, he was invited back to the Stampeders but decided to conclude his football career despite the invitation. That’s when he decided to go into wrestling, which his father, a second generation wrestler, told him was a huge mistake.
Turns out it wasn’t a mistake. Johnson jump-started his career as the WWE’s the Rock and notched a few championship belts along the way with the help of his dad who trained him, and it “wound up being one of the greatest chapters of my life.”
Once the clips went viral, Johnson took to Twitter to thank fans for supporting his revelation.
“Grateful for the talk. We all go thru it and you’re never alone,” he wrote, later adding, “Thx fam. Hardest thing sometimes (especially men) is asking for help. I wish I did. You’re never alone. Speak up. “
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