ICYMI, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was just bestowed the greatest honour in entertainment (JK), People’s Sexiest Man Alive. Initial thoughts: The Rock, while obviously a certifiable hunk, is a beefier, more cartoonish choice than the usual Ryan, Matt and Bradleys who typically bag the award (and a more diverse one: he’s the second Asian-American and Pacific Islander to be named Sexiest Man Alive after Keanu Reeves retroactively got the 1994 title in 2015). Second thoughts: if you know anything about The Rock beyond yeah, he was a wrestler and yes, he’s cut, you know his looks are kinda the least important thing about him. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thoroughly crushed on a beefcake or two in my day and appreciate his physical assets but around the FLARE office, the consensus was pretty much this: forget sexiest, The Rock is actually the nicest guy in Hollywood. (As FLARE art director and unabashed The Rock devotee Philina Chan put it, “It is a true and pure kind of love that will last for the ages”.) Here, 10 times The Rock turned our hearts to butter.
When he dressed up as Pikachu for Halloween
His teeny tiny adorable baby daughter is obsessed with Pokémon’s Pikachu so for Halloween, The Rock threw on the full costume and danced around for her. BECAUSE HE IS THE ACTUAL SWEETEST.
When he officiated the wedding of super fan turned buddy Nick Mundy
He helped plan the elaborate surprise wedding AND volunteered to marry the already-engaged couple, making all of comedian Mundy’s dreams come true (P.S. The Rock was his childhood idol and since interviewing him a few times on press junkets for ScreenJunkies, the two have become friends IRL, NBD). LOVE. THIS. MAN.
When he gushed about Baywatch co-star Priyanka Chopra
Choice snippet from his interview about FLARE’s September Priyanka cover star: “I’ve been in the business a long time, and I’ve worked with a lot of stars, and only a handful are as driven and as sharply focused and ambitious as Priyanka. It’s intoxicating—you want to be around it because it inspires you and pushes you.”
When he met (and then posted about) meeting his fans
There were literally too many posts like this on his Instagram to choose from so here’s one of the most recent ones that makes us want to punch ourselves in the face with joy (see: referring to this young fan as “this little sweetheart”).
When he casually rescued a couple of stray dogs
Oh yeah, then he and his longtime girlfriend got them spayed, nursed them back to health after finding them super malnourished and low-key nicknamed the mom and baby duo J.Lo and Beyonce (“after two of my fav gorgeous ladies”) before putting them up for adoption through his IG.
When his genuine likability made even the jankiest movies infinitely more watchable
Case in point, steamers like Central Intelligence, the Get Shorty sequel Be Cool, The Rundown and Tooth Fairy (not even kidding, he’s effing charming in this ridiculous movie, and btw, The Rock as the tooth fairy is way cuter than Vin Diesel in The Pacifier).
When he paid tribute to Paul Walker
He shared this BTS video on his Insta of a touching Shark Week tribute video to his buddy. “Paul Walker was not only an incredible actor, dear friend, loving and devoted father to beautiful Meadow Rain, but he was also a champion for shark and marine conservation, whose efforts inspired so many.”
When he gave a fan props for sporting a crop top six months postpartum
Not only did he regram a pic of this fan’s Rock-inspired Halloween costume (bravo, girl), he shouted out her own mention that she felt confident enough to sport the cropped turtleneck just six months after having a baby. “Thank you for the luv you fanny pack wearin’ sexy mama.”
When he honoured his past as a wrestler/short-lived CFL player/turtleneck model (see above) without a hint of shame
Unlike some big stars with humble beginnings who reinvent themselves and then try to scrub their early years from the public’s collective memory, The Rock seems damn proud of his come-up from WWE wrestler to one of Forbes’ highest paid actors.
When he gushed about loving strong women
OK, obvs we don’t need a man to say we’re strong for it to mean something, BUT The Rock’s constant and totally earnest love for all the women in his life (his mom, GF, daughters, costars, fans, etc. etc. etc.) just leaves us dead. BLESS THIS MAN.