‘He was a real trailblazer’: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson dedicates Trailblazer Award to late father

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was honored with the Trailblazer Award at the fourth  annual Hollywood Critics Association Friday, and he dedicated the win to his “trailblazer” — his late father.

“That guy was a trailblazer. As complicated as our relationship was, our father son relationship, complicated, tough love, tough love, but he was a real trailblazer because what trailblazers do is they change people’s behavior,” an emotional Johnson said. “And he did everything he could to send people home happy.”

The “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” actor’s father, Rocky Johnson, a WWE Hall of Famer, died in January 2020 of a heart attack at 75. Rocky Johnson retired from wrestling in 1991, but his family’s prized wrestling legacy continued after his son followed in his famous father’s footsteps as “The Rock” before going on to become one of the highest-paid actors ever. 

During his father’s eulogy, Dwayne Johnson paid tribute to Rocky Johnson’s impact and referenced his pioneering.

“You trailblazed and even harder, you changed people’s harsh behaviors toward a man of color,” he said. “Paving the way for me, my family and generations to come.”

The Hollywood Critics Association played a video montage that showcased Johnson’s acting and wrestling career, as well as his philanthropic work with first responders and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, before awarding the actor with the Trailblazer Award.

The “Hobbs & Shaw” actor said the video reminded him of how lucky he was to have the opportunity to make people feel good.

“It’s the anchoring reminder that if we’re lucky enough and we’re fortunate enough to be in a position where you can make somebody feel good and you can create moments for them that they will never forget for the rest of their lives, that is power,” Johnson said. “That’s real accountability to humanity when you just do good for people.”

He also encouraged people to create unforgettable moments for others, if they have the means to do so.

“You don’t gotta be famous. It doesn’t matter what’s in your bank account, or what kind of car you drive, all that (expletive) doesn’t matter. It’s just how you make people feel. That’s the thing that matters,” Johnson said.

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