Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson loves Big Cheese at UM

Dwyane The Rock Johnson

Forbes may have just named Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson the highest-paid actor in the world, but the humble Miami loyalist says he still keeps his life decidedly low-key.

We talked to The Rock at the season 2 premiere of HBO’s ‘Ballers’ at the New World Center on Miami Beach, and asked him about his favorite places to go out in The Magic City now that he’s a big Hollywood movie star. “I keep it basic and I never forget where it all started,” he said of his culinary preferences. “I’m all about The Big Cheese in U.S. 1. You probably think I’m going to say a bunch of fancy places, but that’s not the case.”

Pizza seems to be the cuisine of choice for the former wrestler, as he also named Pizza Heaven in Broward as a top pick. “Go in there and say, ‘let me get what The Rock gets’,” he joked, “You’ll be satisfied!”

Johnson also discussed the changes he’s seen in The Magic City since he was a football player for UM in the early ’90’s. “God, I think the city has grown in so many ways,” he said, adding of his own experience, “I’m enjoying parts of Miami and parts of South Florida that, to be honest with you, I never had the opportunity to enjoy when I was at The University of Miami because we were what we call broke! I was living at Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

The ‘Ballers’ star and executive producer is also excited by the amount of filming he’s been able to do in our city.  “I think the city has opened up just in terms of production in so many ways.  I love bringing movies down here when I can, I love bringing television shows down here when I can,” he says. “The coolest part is we brought ‘Baywatch’ here, ‘Pain & Gain’ here, ‘Ballers’ here, we’re working on other things we’re going to bring here too; the best part about it is creating those jobs for everybody because I know what it’s like to struggle.”


Fellow cast member Rob Corddry also weighed in on what he thinks of filming in Miami.  “I lived in New York for 15 years, I lived in L.A. for ten, and I’ve spent now a lot of time in Miami shooting the show.  There’s no other city like Miami, it’s interesting and colorful and baffling – it just still baffles me,” he explained. “This city does not want to be defined…this city defies characterization.  It’s really fascinating. I respect that of Miami.” That’s right Rob, don’t even try to simplify us!

Before the screening began, The Rock took a moment to address the audience, filled with hundreds of winning contestants from a fan zone contest. As soon as he began to recall moving to Miami at age 18, loud chants of “UM” rose from the crowd and a huge smile broke across the actor’s face, clearly showing that this truly is home for “Mr. highest-paid-actor-in-the-world.”

Special correspondent Stephanie Brito contributed to this report.

"The wolf is always scratchin' at the door" was the first thing I said when we found out from @forbes I was officially the world's highest paid actor. Well, actually the first thing I said was "Aw shit!", then I said the wolf part. Receiving news like this will always serve as my anchoring reminder to continue to work even harder. We not only want to "embrace the grind", but take the grind to new levels. I learned a few invaluable lessons a long time ago that can help all of you guys out there succeed at whatever it is you're doing. Greatness is never achieved alone. Surround yourself with hungry, brilliant individuals who not only buy into your philosophy, but who are all willing to work just as hard as you. Power of teamwork. And don't ever forget where you came from. I was evicted at 14yrs old and completely broke by 23. Every day I wake up as if that eviction notice is right around the corner waiting for me.. which is why I always say, "the wolf is always scratchin' at the door". He's scratchin' cause he's hungry and never satisfied. We embrace and respect our past (even if it was f*cked up), but we never let it define our future. Let's stay hungry and chase that greatness. I will now jump in my pick up truck, go to work and figure out whether or not I need psychiatric therapy for this damn wolf that's become my best friend. #Celeb100 #SevenBucksProductions #HardestWorkersInTheRoom #1WolfOnThePlanet

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on