Recall about a year ago when we reported the news that Dwayne “Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking” Johnson was attached to play Charley Pride in a biopic on the country music star’s life, and how stunned many of us were, wondering how Johnson could pull this off, given his size, acting ability and musical talents?
First a quick recap… back in 2006, it was announced that Terence Howard would reteam with his Hustle And Flow director, Craig Brewer, to produce a film based on the life of one of the few successful black country music stars, Charley Pride, with Howard in the title role.
Fast-forward to 2011, to a report from a Canadian newspaper, the Telegraph-Journal, which included an interview with Pride himself who stated that the project with Terence Howard “got fumbled… New management took over the studio that was ready to begin site work on it… And a decision was made to put all their resources behind thrillers – fast actioners. They felt that was where the big box office money was then.“
And Pride added, “Now it’s back on track again but with action and comedy star Dwayne Johnson portraying me in the title role… Terrence, it seems, is tied up on other involvements for a few years.“
The interviewer expresses some surprise, stating, “Wow!… Johnson. The Rock! He’ll do a way more forceful job playing you! A pro-athletic background like yours and a lot of the same charisma! That’s really exciting!“
And Pride replied to that with, “I think so now… Terrence is no doubt a more in-depth actor academically, but Dwayne is such a force on screen. It startled me a little at first, but he flew down to Dallas and spent a day with me just sitting, talking recently. And when he left it was like parting with an old friend. We had such similar views on so many things.“
I think “startled” would be an understatement in my case, and, as I was then, I’m still having a really hard time picturing Dwayne Johnson as Charley Pride… not that I’m some Charley Pride aficionado. I’m not. But in watching a few YouTube videos with him performing, in trying to see Dwayne Johnson in the part (the anti-thesis of Terrence Howard, who I think would have actually been a good choice for the role), it’s just not coming to me.
And then I watched the below video this morning, showing a gentler giant in Johnson… I had no idea the man could carry a tune, nor play an instrument; stupid me, right? Really, he does a pretty good job here in this video which was shot for his role in the upcoming Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – a movie I wasn’t at all planning on seeing, but which Johnson sings in.
Not that I’m suddenly convinced that Johnson is the man for the role; that’s still to be seen. He’d have to drop a whole bunch of muscle mass and slim down, which he could probably do I suppose. Pride was a baseball player back in the day, so he likely had an athletic physique; but nowhere close to the bulk Johnson carries around.
And just because he CAN sing doesn’t mean a lot either; he could very well lipsynch Pride’s songs if the film ever does happen.
Anywho… I’m a fan of Dwayne Johnson’s, so this isn’t a knock on him; I’m just surprised and really curious to see how he’s able to pull this off. He very well could surprise us, just as I was surprised to watch the below video of him singing What A Wonderful World; dude’s got a few tricks up his sleeve.