Breakthrough for The Rock
"I had never made an art-house movie so no one, including me, had a clue what was going to happen."
What happened for The Rock was nothing short of a breakthrough in his already stellar movie career. The Rock's latest flick, the thriller "Southland Tales" is one of only three American films, 19 worldwide, that has been chosen to compete for the coveted Palme d'or or Golden Palm award at the prestigious and legendary Cannes film festival. The winner receives recognition as the festival's top film. "Southland Tales" is in unbelievable company. The other two American films chosen to compete are "Fast Food Nation" starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke and Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" starring Kirsten Dunst. The Rock says this award is the "Holy Grail of filmmaking, if you will. It's the top of the heap. Just being chosen means you have arrived as an actor!" The festival runs from May 17-28 in the south of France and Rock will be there to promote his film. Films are chosen to compete based strictly on their artistic merit.
"Southland Tales" was written and directed by Richard Kelly of "Donnie Darko" fame and also stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as The Rock's girlfriend, Mandy Moore as The Rock's wife, Justin Timberlake and Seann William Scott.
"My interpretation of the film," The Rock explains in an exclusive interview with WWE.com, "is that it's a love letter to Los Angeles following World War III. It's how the world and L.A. would react following the apocalypse." The Rock plays Boxer Santaros, a movie star who is kidnapped, left in the desert, suffers from amnesia, is a paranoid schizophrenic, and has the ability to see the future. "The movie is nothing like my other films," The Rock explains. "It has the feel of a 1940's movie, that type of mystique. It's a dark comedy, a musical, a thriller, a drama, all rolled into one."
The Rock beams with pride when discussing this movie and the honor of it being shown at The Cannes Film Festival. "It's what you work your whole career for," The Rock explains. "To do movies like this, to get the respect as a true actor, is what you strive for. I've had to climb so many mountains and break through so many barriers to get here. Fortunately, I had great material to work with, a director who believed in me, and an awesome cast of co-stars. We all worked our asses off to make this movie what it is." The Rock says we will know by the end of May how the film makes out at Cannes.
The Rock has two other blockbuster films in the works. The drama "Gridiron Gang" is due in theatres September 15 and he stars as a probation officer who works in a prison for kids. In June, The Rock begins filming the Disney comedy "Playbook." He plays a quarterback for the New England Patriots in a movie which has the full backing of the National Football League. "The Rock in a movie by Disney, did you ever think you'd see that day?", The Rock says laughing.
Believe it or not, despite his crazy schedule, The Rock still keeps up to date on all the shows in WWE. He says he's thrilled Rey Mysterio is World Heavyweight Champion. "I'm so proud of Rey. He's a great ambassador for the business and the SmackDown brand. I've never seen an athlete able to adjust his style to fit whoever he's working with in the ring."
WWE.com asked The Rock if fans will see him on RAW or SmackDown in the near future. He answered as only The Rock can, "Just as sure as I whoop ass and have a million dollar smile! Don't think I'm ever going away for good. I'll show up when you least expect it!"
And when that happens, rest assured, it will be nothing short of a BREAKTHROUGH!