Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson approached his musical moment with “total fearlessness” as he recorded a song for Disney movie Moana.
The wrestler-turned-actor voices demigod Maui in Disney’s latest offering, which follows the tale of rebellious Princess (voiced by Auli'i Cravalho) who is in love with the ocean, who goes on a mission to save her Polynesian island.
In the movie Dwayne showcases his surprising accomplished vocals with a song called You're Welcome, penned by Hamilton writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has nothing but praise for the star’s performance.
“What you’re seeing is a total fearlessness – here’s Dwayne Johnson, who’s pretty much good at everything he tries his hand at, he was a little nervous going into the studio!” Lin-Manuel told USA Today. “He sent little Instagram posts trying to manage expectations, but what I was so encouraged by was that he knew the song... when we walked in the room, so it wasn’t about teaching the song, it was about playing with the song and having fun."
"He really went for it and I think the results speak for themselves," added Miranda.
And had directors John Musker and Ron Clements original plan for the film been realised, fans could have heard and seen a lot more of Dwayne.
Clements revealed they had intended to make a film called Mighty Maui, based on the actor's animated alter ego, rather than the female heroine who now leads the movie.
However, Ron explained to Cinema Blend, a visit to the islands in the Pacific Ocean, completely changed the duo's outlook.
“We learned so much about navigation and the history of navigation, which was not a part of the story. People's connection to the ocean... they talked about the ocean like it was alive, which was not a part of the story," explained Ron. "The respect for nature and the connection to the past... And so, after that trip, when we came back, we kind of threw out that first version of the story.”
Moana hits cinemas from 23 November (16).