Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson reflected on his early career in Hollywood as he was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.
The professional wrestler-turned-actor scored his first leading role in 2002 action movie The Scorpion King and has since become one of the best paid stars in the film industry.
Time magazine has twice named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, thanks to roles in films such as The Fate Of The Furious, Rampage and Skyscraper.
Johnson, 47, was honoured with the generation award at the MTV Movie & TV Awards, following in the footsteps of previous winners including Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller and Sandra Bullock.
The father-of-three entered the stage at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica to Queen’s We Will Rock You and opened his acceptance speech by telling fans “the most powerful thing that we can be is ourselves”.
The former professional wrestler then said when he first arrived in Hollywood, the film industry “didn’t know what the hell to do with me”.
He said: “This half-black, half-Samoan, six-foot-four, 275-pounds pro wrestler. Hollywood did not know what to do so I was told at that time you’ve got to be a certain way; you’ve got to drop some weight, you’ve got to be somebody different, you’ve got to stop working out… you’ve got to stop calling yourself The Rock.”
Johnson said he took the advice for his first few years in Hollywood, which left him “miserable”.
He said: “So I made a choice, and the choice was I wasn’t going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me.
“So Hollywood conformed to me and here I am with all of you receiving the generation award.”
Johnson, who will reprise his role as Luke Hobbs from the Fast And The Furious movies in spin-off Hobbs & Shaw alongside Jason Statham later this year, finished his acceptance speech by saying: “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.”