NBC’s “Young Rock” should maybe be called “Young Rocks” since there are three actors cast as Dwayne Johnson across his formative years. Adrian Groulx plays 10-year-old “Dewey” Johnson, Bradley Constant portrays Dwayne Johnson at 15 and Uli Latukefu heads to the University of Miami as the 18-year-old version of the man who would eventually become WWE Superstar The Rock.
TheWrap asked showrunner Nahnatchka Khan and the real Dwayne Johnson how this would work, casting-wise, if the comedy has an event decent run. After all, Constant’s Johnson would become Latukefu’s in just three years.
“(Dwayne Johnson’s) life is so big and there are so many stories to tell that I imagine there’s even a season pre-Adrian,” Khan responded Tuesday during the new series’ Television Critics Association Press Tour panel. “There’s more seasons to tell in Hawaii. There’s a lot of places we can jump to in Dwayne’s big book of life. So once we determine these next stories and these next timelines we want to tell, I think that’s going to be our plan moving forward.”
“I think we have a real opportunity if we were to go on,” Johnson told us. “There’s pre-Adrian — (ages) 8, 6, 7, 9 — and then from 11, 12, 13, 14: those were my years where I was the star of getting arrested all the time. And then of course the University of Miami and playing there and then post-University of Miami when I made the decision that I might have something to offer the world of professional wrestling.”
“And then we get into the WWE,” he continued. “There’s a good amount of stuff.”
That ought to keep the show’s casting director busy.
The task was already an uphill battle, considering all of the massive men required for the call sheet. In the show’s pilot episode alone we see actors portraying WWF/WWE wrestlers Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his dad Rocky Johnson, his uncles The Wild Somoans, Andre The Giant, The Iron Sheik, The Junkyard Dog and University of Miami teammates (and future NFL players) Jessie Armstead and Russell Maryland.
Those are not your typical Hollywood bodies.
“Young Rock” premieres Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 8/7c on NBC.