Wednesday 26 October 2016

Actor Johnson in selfies record bid

Published 21/05/2015 | 20:31

Dwayne Johnson attending the world premiere of San Andreas at the Odeon Leicester Square in London
Dwayne Johnson attending the world premiere of San Andreas at the Odeon Leicester Square in London

Rock mania hit London tonight, when wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, stepped out for the world premiere of his new film, San Andreas.

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The 43-year-old star took to the red carpet in London's Leicester Square with co-stars Kylie Minogue, Alexandra Daddario and Carla Gugino and director Brad Peyton.

Before the screening of the disaster drama, the Fast And Furious actor posed for selfies with more than 100 fans, who were allocated numbers in an attempt to set a new world record for the greatest number of selfies within three minutes. Johnson has to get more than 75 in-focus shots, taken by his own hand.

"I gotta tell you, I consider myself the selfie king and I'm going to break this record in London," he said before the challenge. Afterwards, he joked: "My jaw hurts but I hope I've broken the record."

The film stars Johnson as a Californian search and rescue helicopter pilot who has to rescue his estranged wife (played by Gugino) and daughter (Daddario) when an earthquake strikes in San Francisco.

He considers this his most personal role to date, saying: "I couldn't have made this movie 10 years ago. This is the movie I had to live a life that I lived in order to step into these shoes."

Johnson, who has a 13-year-old daughter with ex-wife Dany Garcia, went on: "After years in Hollywood, I felt this was a time in my life to create this guy who was very good at what he did but he's messed up. Within the first few minutes of this film you realise he's going through a divorce and he's struggling to have a relationship with his daughter so there were a lot of elements that my life reflected."

He added: "Also I wanted to do something I'd never done before. This gave me that opportunity because I'd never worked in the disaster genre and I realise how hard it is."

The cast had kicked off the film's promotional campaign when an earthquake hit Nepal on April 25.

"When I found out what happened in Nepal, I was heartbroken. We all felt collectively the best thing to do was to pause for a second with the marketing campaign," Johnson said.

"There was a lot of sympathy and sensitivity. We had just kicked off the campaign and the first thing we wanted to do was to raise awareness and send them a sizeable donation to the victims and families so they can rebuild.

"We wanted to make a movie that is entertaining but also informative to help people prepare. We all live in California and we respect Mother Nature so it is a sensitive time."

Gugino, who is reunited on screen with Johnson for the third time, said: "It's a tragedy.

"The thing that I found resonates in this film is the triumph of the human spirit, how human beings are so resilient, how they come out in these times of need and really help each other. I see that happening in Nepal, which I find really moving."

Peyton - who previously worked with Johnson on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - was careful to be respectful to earthquake victims in his film.

"I knew I was making a movie about a real-life thing, so I have to respect it because there are real world ramifications," he said.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Nepal but, at the end of the day, I was focusing on telling a movie about a family and entertaining and if some awareness comes out of this, that is a great thing."

:: San Andreas opens in UK cinemas on May 28.

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