Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one impressive specimen of humanity and no, we're not just talking about his abs. The former wrestler has starred in a bajillion movies, launched his own Youtube channel and even broke a Guinness World Record for the unprecedented $5.5 million paycheque he earned for his role in The Scorpion King.
Despite his huge back catalogue, which boasts the billion dollar Fast & Furious franchise among countless other films, people rarely discuss Dwayne Johnson as a competitor in the acting stakes. That looks set to change now though as the annual “Highest Paid Celebrities” list from Forbes has just arrived with a shock revelation.
That's right, guys. Forget Meryl Streep and Leonardo Di Caprio. The Rock has officially become the highest paid actor in the world, beating out the likes of Mark Wahlberg and Robert Downey Jr to claim the top spot.
How did other celebrities fare on the list?
Ellen Degeneres actually ranked higher than the Rock, clocking in at No. 13, but the majority of her income is derived from her talk show and endorsement revenue, despite the incredible success of the comedienne's role in Pixar's Finding Dory. Johnson's Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart also earned more money than The Rock, reaching No. 6 in the overall list, but his source of revenue is listed as comedy.
In the overall top 100, Dwayne Johnson came in at No.19, so he has a bit of catching up to do before he can take the top spot from Taylor Swift, who earned an astounding $170 million in the past 12 months alone. The Rock is still understandably overjoyed at his ranking on the list though, sharing this heartfelt picture on Instagram when the news broke.
How exactly did Dwayne Johnson become the highest paid actor?
While his competitors have sought out artistic fare that could win big during the awards season, The Rock has stuck to what he does best; kicking ass and taking names.
The surprise success of 2015's San Andreas confirmed Johnson's star power outside of the phenomenally popular Fast & Furious franchise, cementing The Rock's position as Hollywood's go-to action hero.
This trend looks set to continue in a variety of upcoming roles, including Baywatch, the highly anticipated Jumanji reboot and DC's superhero blockbuster, Shazam, where Johnson will play the villain, Black Adam, a role he campaigned heavily for at the time.
Why do people love The Rock so much?
The Rock built a dedicated fan base during his wrestling days, but no one else has crossed over as successfully as him, so what is it about Dwayne Johnson that makes him so gosh darn loveable?
Well, first off, there's something to be said for The Rock's choice of roles; Action heroes are a dying breed and those who are still kicking around are either dour and serious or are just desperate to hold onto their past glory days from the '80s and '90s.
What sets Johnson apart from the pack is his willingness to just let go and throw himself 110% into each role. No other action hero brings the fun like Dwayne and this is something that modern audiences are clearly crying out for, as the popularity of the Fast & Furious franchise attests to.
The Rock is also a master of social media, developing a surprisingly thoughtful and often hilarious Instagram account that blows his contemporaries out of the water with muscle-bound charisma.
Also, he saves cute dogs from certain death. What's not to like?
While we wait for the likes of Moana, Jumanji and Baywatch to hit cinemas, here's a little reminder of how awesome Dwayne Johnson is, even in average fare like Hercules, where he pulls of a lion hat like no body's business.