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Dwayne Johnson thanks high school coach for Hollywood success

Dwayne Johnson credits his high school football coach with his hugely successful career.

The Furious 7 actor is known as one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood, but as a teen, he went through an "identity crisis" and had a hard time figuring out where he belonged. His high school experience was made all the more difficult because his family was always moving around.


"We moved from Hawaii to, of all places, Nashville, Tennessee, and at that time when I moved, 21 Jump Street was a popular TV show so the idea and the notion of an undercover cop posing as a student, I swear to God they thought it was me," he told morning show Live! with Kelly on Friday (10Jun16). "I had no friends, no play from the ladies, nothing. I was already 6'4 (tall), 220 (pounds) and I had this crazy porn moustache."


The 44-year-old moved again to Pennsylvania when he was 16 years old, and continued to have issues fitting in until a run-in with a tough teacher, who helped put him on the path to success.


"Aside from my identity crisis I was having, I was also getting in trouble a lot," he said. "Multiple arrests by the time I was 16... So then we moved from Nashville to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. So when I moved there, I got in a fight right away, I got expelled from school, got arrested. I came back and when I came back, I didn't want to use the boys' bathroom because it smelled like smoke... so I used the teachers' bathroom... I'm washing my hands, a guy walks in and he goes, 'Hey, you can't be in here,' very stern. I was a punk at that time, I looked at him like, 'Yeah, alright in a second.' He screams, 'Hey, you get the f**k outta here!'. He was bright red, veins everywhere. I kind of walked by him, brushed my shoulder by him.


"That night I went home, I felt bad, I knew I acted like a punk," he continued. "I went to find him the next day and said, 'Hey, I just want to apologise to you, I'm sorry for being so rude,' and I just apologised and I stuck my hand out to him. He grabbed my hand, he shook it, he held onto it, he said, 'I appreciate your apology, I want you to play football for me,' and I went, 'OK.' It changed my life. I am here, I believe, in large part due to that man, his name is Jodie Swick, he has since passed away and I (thank him)."


Dwayne went on to play college football at the University of Miami before embarking on a professional wrestling career and then branching out into Hollywood.