Dwayne Johnson Overcomes Jitters to Sing in Moana
As a pro wrestler and action movie star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson never shied away from a challenge. But when it came to making his singing debut in the animated feature “Moana,” even this tough guy had to battle a case of the jitters.
The task was complicated by the fact that he would be singing a blockbuster song called “You’re Welcome” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the phenom from the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
“It was kind of nerve wracking at first,” says Johnson. “I’m not one to get nervous because I like to be prepared for things that I do. But in this case it was like Lin-Manuel, he’s a genius, and he wrote this song for me, and his writing is complicated. It’s dope, but it’s also very complicated how he puts things together.”
So Johnson dug deep into his heritage to find his musical inspiration.
“I kind of grew up singing in terms of my family, and Polynesian culture, singing and playing ukulele and dancing and things like that,” he says. “It was a lot of fun, I loved it, I’m happy the song came out well.”
Dwayne Johnson Plays an Over-the-Hill Demigod in Moana
The story of a Polynesian girl who sets sail in search of the solution to her island home’s ecological destruction, “Moana” pairs newcomer Auli’i Cravalho of Hawaii with the megastar Johnson, who plays an over-the-hill demigod Maui. It’s the kind of movie that he never dreamed he’d make.
“I’m lucky, I’ve been really lucky to do some pretty cool things in my career but this is a whole other level,” he says. “Honestly, it’s the bucket list thing that I never knew I needed until I did it.”
Johnson, who’s half-black and half-Samoan, says the lushly animated “Moana” not only “showcases Polynesian culture but “is a very empowering movie for young girls and an important one for young girls.”
“So it’s a very special thing,” he says.
Watch the full “You’re Welcome” sequence below: