Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, has said it is a “real possibility” that he could run for president.
The former wrestler known as The Rock, who is now the highest paid actor in Hollywood, turned down the chance to endorse both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but would consider heading to Washington DC himself.
Last June, he shared a newspaper article suggesting he could be a viable candidate on Instagram, saying it was “interesting” and “fun to read”, adding that “the most important thing right now is strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country”.
But he has since given it more thought, telling GQ: “A year ago it started coming up more and more. There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, ’Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful’.
“I didn’t want to be flippant – ’We’ll have three days off for a weekend. No taxes’.”
Asked if he would run for office, he replied: “I think that it’s a real possibility.”
Johnson, 45, says he is registered as an independent and added that he did not endorse a candidate last year because he did not want to sway opinion – but instead wanted to watch the American public make up their own minds.
He said: “I feel like I’m in a position now where my word carries a lot of weight and influence, which of course is why they want the endorsement.
“But I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the process and felt like if I did share my political views publicly, a few things would happen – and these are all conversations I have with myself, in the gym at four o’clock in the morning – I felt like it would either make people unhappy with the thought of whatever my political view was.
“And, also, it might sway an opinion, which I didn’t want to do.”
He spoke at the Republican national convention in 2000, but also attended the Democratic convention that same year, encouraging audiences at both events to vote.
Johnson said he “completely disagrees” with President Trump’s Muslim ban, telling the magazine: “I believe in our national security to the core, but I don’t believe in a ’ban’ that bans immigrants. I believe in inclusion.
“Our country was built on that, and it continues to be made strong by that. And the decision felt like a snap judgment. I feel like the majority of, if not all, Americans feel that protection is of huge importance.
“But the ideology and the execution of national-security initiatives is where we really have to be careful of not making those snap decisions, because there’s a tail effect… Within 24 hours, we saw a ’tail effect’.
“It grew to heartache, it grew to a great deal of pain, it grew to a great deal of confusion, and it had a lot of people scrambling.”