Dwayne Johnson smashed through he great wall of news this week, rushing over and lifting us up in a powerful but tender overhead press, carrying us toward the dreamland he lives in where everyone is hardworking, great-looking, and nice as hell.
Bless GQ for sending Caity Weaver on the enviable mission to profile Dwayne Johnson, and for their art department for thinking what we’re all thinking: If a celebrity had to be president, wooing the electorate with charm and charisma, why not elect Johnson, so appears to excel in every area our current president lacks?
Evan Osnos recently reported that “other than golf, [Trump] considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.” A finite amount of energy? Dwayne Johnson is a solar-powered, clean running beast of infinite energy and charisma.
If you are a child, good luck getting past Dwayne Johnson without a high five or some simulated roughhousing; if you’re in a wheelchair, prepare for a Beowulf-style epic poem about your deeds and bravery, composed extemporaneously, delivered to Johnson’s Instagram audience of 85 million people; if you’re dead, having shuffled off your mortal coil before you even got the chance to meet Dwayne Johnson, that sucks—rest in peace knowing that Dwayne Johnson genuinely misses you. For Johnson, there are no strangers; there are simply best friends, and best friends he hasn’t met yet.
He’s always concerned about you. Are you drinking enough water?
“I just want to make sure you’re hydrated,” he says, picking up a cool, clear cylinder of Voss. He twists open the seal fast and hard, like he’s wringing the neck of a punk who disrespected the troops (he loves the troops—we love the troops—proud to be an American, troops, troops, troops), and hands me the bottle.
Pundits and pollsters, get ready. Dwayne Johnson is going to crush your likability scores.
How does an untrained actor jump from a cameo to a starring role in the span of a year, while never even quitting his day job? Then, as now, Johnson tested well in what the film industry refers to as “all four quadrants”: old men, young men, old women, and young women. “[He] is as close to guaranteeing you butts in the seat as anybody can be,” NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer told me.
Broadly, the quadrants thing means that everyone likes him. Specifically, it suggests that if Johnson’s personal magnetism were any stronger, birds in his vicinity might plummet from the sky, their internal navigation mechanisms thrown off by the force of his personality.
But hey, he’s still a unique guy! There’s even a box on the census form just for Dwayne Johnson.
His own racial blend (black and Samoan) means he is blessed with skin the color of graham crackers, a perfectly roasted marshmallow, and Abraham Lincoln on the penny. It’s a rare combination. In the last census, the number of Americans identifying as “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander” (a blanket term that includes people who trace their lineage to Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, and lots of other small, warm islands) plus “Black or African American” was just 50,308. A figure so low it rounds out to 0.0 percent of the total U.S. population, though a more gracious person might say “less than 0.1 percent.” In other words, if you meet a 45-year-old half-black, half-Samoan man living in the United States, the odds are shockingly high he will be Dwayne Johnson
He’s also one of the people. He’s got that song in his head! No, not that song, the other one!
Johnson’s song from the Moana soundtrack, “You’re Welcome,” was not nominated for any awards, but he sings it under his breath all day anyway, just because he really loves that song.
And like any good politician, he loves the troops. Like, a lot. Like, really really a lot.
Johnson frequently takes to social media to thank members of the armed forces, specifically and in aggregate, for their service. In his patriotic hands, anything can—and will—become a tribute to the armed forces. In March, he was “grateful” to share the “big news” on Instagram that he would be portraying “a disabled US War Vet and former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader” in an upcoming movie about “the world’s largest skyscraper—that’s on fire.” Johnson wrote that his character in this demented summer blockbuster was “inspired by the thousands of disabled US veterans and war heroes I’ve had the honor of shaking hands with over the years.”
He’s got the inside track on world events like the death of Osama Bin Laden, beating Obama’s announcement by an hour. (His cousin is a Navy SEAL.)
To this day, Johnson refuses to disclose how he got wind of this ultra-classified mission. “The tweet was actually supposed to come out at the same time the president was making his speech,” he says, “but the moment I sent that out, I got word that now we’ve delayed the speech a little bit. I was like, ‘Ooooh. Okay.’ ”
No really, he has what it takes to be president. If our current president is a goldfish who can’t remember the castle in his own bowl, Dwayne Johnson is the elephant who never forgets.
Barring the adoption of policy points that are completely unhinged (like spending $8 billion to build a colony in the earth’s core—though, if anyone could do that, it would be Dwayne Johnson), there’s much to suggest Johnson could chart a fast and furious ride to the White House. He’s a quick study with boundless attention to detail. Beyond his popularity—and the fact that his head often looks like a big, round smiley face—he’s got a politician’s warm, deep voice, which projects authority, capability, and strength. And he possesses a startling steel-trap memory. Johnson simply remembers everything about people: biographical details, offhand anecdotes, entire conversations. It’s the quality that allows him to treat everyone like a close friend, the silent secret to his supercharged charm.
And while our current president sleeps only four to five hours a night, Dwayne Johnson is very concerned about your sleep schedule. Are you getting enough? Is it quality sleep?
Weeks after I first met Johnson, I wake up to a direct message on Twitter. @TheRock is on the road and just wanted to alert me to the fact that his hotel carries GQ. The message is decorated with fist-bump and hang-loose emojis.
“Hope you’re great and sleeping soundly!!” he writes.
The wild thing is, I believe he means it literally. If anyone hopes his fellow man is great and sleeping soundly!! it’s Dwayne Johnson. And if he can convince a few million more people of that, everyone’s best friend is going to be president.
In conclusion, Johnson 2020. And Caity Weaver for Veep.