Dwayne Johnson is on a rampage
Actor learning about politics even as he deals with a mutated gorilla in sci-fi flick
Don't be surprised if Dwayne Johnson declares his US presidential candidacy.
Especially if the "interesting groundswell that continues to bubble little by little" of people who want to see him run for office had their way.
The 45-year-old said at our recent interview at The Lot, a studio in Los Angeles: "It's really flattering and I appreciate that. I also feel it's a function of maybe there are some people who aren't happy with our current Presidential situation.
"I respect our country and our people, so in that spirit, I continue to listen, I continue to learn, I continue to take meetings and I continue to ask questions, and then we will see."
Looks like (US president) Donald Trump and even (Hollywood celeb) Oprah Winfrey have some competition.
In the meantime, the busy US actor, producer, ex-wrestler and prolific social media user is promoting his new film Rampage, which opens here tomorrow.
In the sci-fi flick, he plays primatologist Davis Okoye, a strong silent type who gets on better with animals than people, and whose closest relationship is with a rare albino silverback gorilla named George.
You just got to continue to work as hard as you can, be as grateful as you can for everything that comes your way, ups and downs.Dwayne Johnson on what the late George Burns told Lionel Richie
When a new animal genetic technology is misused, the gorilla goes rogue and turns into a rampaging giant.
There are other mutated animals too, and it's up to Davis and his discredited scientist partner (Naomie Harris) to find an antidote to halt the catastrophe.
Johnson's sense of humour plays a large part in his likeability and rising Hollywood popularity.
He turned up looking buff as usual in a T-shirt and jeans in the dim curtained-off room that was set aside for interviews.
When someone complimented his physique, he shot back with: "It's an extra small I am wearing. And there's great lighting in this room."
To prep for the heavy digital effects in Rampage, he spent time at Zoo Atlanta familiarising himself with gorilla behaviour, specifically with a silverback named Taz.
Johnson said: "I studied the emotions, how he acted, how he responded to certain things. So you go into processes like this with a movie that is very heavy on the visual effects side, very heavy on the motion capture side. Three gigantic monsters, how we were going to play that, and how was I going to play this role."
He would not be the world's leading man today without being in touch with his audience, and that compelled him to change the movie's ending to one in which the gorilla doesn't die.
"I strongly disagreed with (the initial) ending. In life, there aren't always happy endings, we know that. However, in a summer popcorn movie, it's supposed to be fun.
" I felt like we would be doing the audiences an incredible disservice by not sending them home happy. Over the years, I have built up a real trust and an equity with the audience that is very important to me. So I felt like if we were going to deliver an ending like that, that would make people sad, I felt like my trust would be broken."
When it comes to family, Johnson is "very proud" of his 17-year-old daughter Simone from his first marriage.
She was this year's Golden Globe Ambassador - an honour bestowed onto a celebrity's offspring - at the awards show in January, during which she assisted in handing out trophies to the winners and escorted them offstage.
He is expecting his third daughter soon with girlfriend Lauren Hashian, with whom he already has a three-year-old girl.
Since leaving the wrestling world in 2004 , he has been synonymous with box office blockbusters like the Fast And Furious franchise and Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.
On the fact that everything he touches has turned to gold so far, he admits he's "really proud". But he still believes in hard work and being grateful and kind.
"If you are fortunate enough to come to Hollywood and get a break, you have got to have a sense of gratitude and humility about the whole thing, because it could go away, just like that.
"There's this great quote by (the late US entertainer) George Burns, who then told this to (US singer) Lionel Richie.
"He said, 'You just got to continue to work as hard as you can, be as grateful as you can for everything that comes your way, ups and downs. And always do your best to stay booked."