Meet the ‘Young Rock’ NBC cast, all playing Dwayne Johnson


Uli Latukefu in a scene from the new NBC comedy "Young Rock"

Uli Latukefu plays Dwayne Johnson in college.

(Mark Taylor/NBC)

Character age and location: college-age Dwayne; Miami in 1991

Actual age and location: 37 years old; Sydney, Australia

Favorite Johnson movie: “I watched ‘Tooth Fairy’ with my daughter the other day — it’s pretty good.”

How he prepared to play Dwayne: “The day after I got the job, I started training at the gym because I looked at old photos and went, ‘Uh, that’s not me.’ And it was so cool to step back into the ‘90s — the hair, the shoulder pads, the MC Hammer pants.”

Most “Dewey” attribute: “When I was 18, I signed a football scholarship to the University of Miami, an institution where if you did all the right things, worked your a— off, understood the value of the team and balled out like a son of a b— on the field, the chances of you going pro are great,” Johnson explained. “The pathway to success became so clear for me, after being in the struggle for so long. I’m sorry to cuss but Uli f— nailed this role, and that motivation to prove himself and to make a name for himself.”

His “Young Rock” storyline: “Dwayne came into college thinking, ‘This is going to change my life,’” said Khan. “But things didn’t work out the way he thought they were going to. How does he respond to that kind of adversity, of shifting what he thought was his dream? There’s a lot of fun and relatable stories there.”

What he hopes comes across in his performance: “College was such a pivotal moment for Dwayne, who just wanted to make something of himself but kept getting setback after setback after setback. I know this sounds super cheesy, but if he could pull himself out of that rut, pivot and move forward, then we can too.”

Mastery of the Rock’s eyebrow raise: “Growing up, I thought I could do it. But when we did a photo shoot, someone pointed out that I was raising the wrong eyebrow. I was like, ‘Oh, you’re kidding!’ Believe me, I practice.”

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