How Joseph Anderson became wrestling legend Rocky Johnson

The last episode of NBC Young Rock It hit the wrestling headlines this week to pit Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson against current World Wrestling Entertainment champion Roman Reigns at a future WrestleMania event.

It was the rest of the episode, which was titled “What’s to Do?” , is worth posting because it shows the true beginning of Rock’s journey to the wrestling ring once his football career is over. Rocky Johnson’s father, Rock, portrayed by rising actor Joseph Lee Anderson, plays a pivotal role in training his son’s square circuit.

Like Stacy Liloa as Ata Johnson, Anderson portrayed the wrestling legend perfectly within two seconds of the show. Despite the WWE Hall of Famer’s sudden passing at the age of 75 in January 2020, Anderson didn’t feel any pressure from playing Rock’s father on the show.

How Joseph Anderson became wrestling icon Rocky Johnson for Young Rock

In fact, Rock and the rest of the Johnson family have been very helpful in helping him relieve some of the tension that accompanies this standout segment.

“This is my first time being a series regular, so I was really nervous and wanted to make sure everything was okay,” Anderson said. “Not wanting to mess around was my biggest thing, and I think halfway through season one I was able to lock in Rocky and was able to put in the performance that I did. It was a fun process of playing with him and working with Stacy [Ata] And the rest of the cast who are all pretty amazing. It’s a psychedelic show, it was psychedelic.”

Although Rock was not set with the majority of the cast during the filming process, the Zoom calls he had with all of them were very productive, especially the one he had with Anderson.

Their conversation further motivated him to do his research for the role to ensure he could emulate Rocky Johnson as closely as possible.

“At the beginning of season one, we talked to Dwayne for about an hour, and he told me what his dad was like,” he said. “I went back and watched different clips, but at the end of the day I was always told that funny victories had to be funny. I do my best to be as funny as possible when the situation calls for it. I pull different things from what Rock told me about Rocky to different things my dad was doing So have Rocky do it. I’m pulling all over to get the Rocky I got.”

Besides capturing the larger-than-life character of Rocky both on and off screen, Anderson had to bring out the inner side of the role as well. WWE alum Chavo Guerrero, who also helped produce Netflix radiate Years ago, she was brought in to teach Anderson the ropes so wrestling appeared on the show as realistic.

Viewers start seeing some of these events in Season 2, Episode 5 of Young Rock When Rock starts training to become a WWE Superstar. Fortunately, Anderson took it fairly quickly, even though it wasn’t as natural as he had originally thought.

This earned him a newfound respect for the art of wrestling.

Watching all the clips I watched, the day before, was a lot of basics,” Anderson said. “Especially Rocky, he doesn’t do a lot of things outside of the rope. Very athletic, doing quick kicks and things like that, but for the most part, it’s very basic.”

Anderson was also determined to look the part as often as he could. Even though his physique wasn’t where he wanted it to be in season one, he adjusted his eating and exercise habits according to season two and now looks more like Rocky than ever.

“It’s hard,” he said. “For season one, I did two months of prep and Rock said, ‘Just get big.’ I went from about 225, 230 to 250. I gained about 20 pounds of muscle. It’s weird because we don’t shoot in order.”

He continued, “When he was at his most ripped, that was when Rock was his youngest, and when Rock got older, he was still big but not ripped, and when he was an adult, he finished wrestling. It’s hard to find that middle ground where I can keep her. In the middle, but there’s a lot of eating and weights involved. When we start shooting, I back off as much as I can two weeks before the time.”

By taking advice from Dwayne and studying the legend’s works extensively, Anderson feels he’s got a great idea of ​​who Rocky is despite never having a chance to meet him. That’s what makes him stand out on the show, and wrestling fans will agree that the similarities between the two are simply uncanny.

“The only thing that Rock told me was really special was that Rocky could make anyone feel like a million bucks,” he said. “It can make them feel like they can do anything and that’s a big thing that I put in. It helps me make Rocky so big, a huge person with great personality.”

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