Dwayne Johnson, famously known as “The Rock” or by his earlier wrestling persona “Flex Kavana,” boasts a fascinating and diverse heritage that spans different ethnic backgrounds.
Starting with his father, Wayde Douglas Bowles, also known as Rocky Johnson, he hailed from Canada and was a professional wrestler. Rocky Johnson, a Black Nova Scotian, had a compelling lineage tracing back to the Black Loyalists. These were individuals who, during the American Revolutionary War, sided with the British in exchange for promised freedom from enslavement. Unfortunately, figures like Thomas Jefferson disparaged them as “fugitives.” Interestingly, this slice of history didn’t make it into Hamilton’s narrative.
Rocky Johnson also laid claim to some Irish ancestry, a detail that Dwayne Johnson discussed in a 2014 interview while promoting his role in the film “Hercules.” Reflecting on this newfound cultural connection, Dwayne mentioned feeling a sense of toughness and a bit of luck, playfully attributing it to his Irish heritage. The Irish interviewer warmly welcomed Johnson into the Irish fold, leading to widespread acknowledgment. While some might find it a bit of a stretch, there was even an article in The Irish Post titled “Dwayne Johnson’s Little Known Irish Heritage Revealed,” celebrating this connection. In the realm of wins, Ireland seemed content to claim what it could until the possibility of a Brendan Gleeson Fast and the Furious spinoff series emerged.
On the maternal side, Johnson’s mother, Ata, has Samoan roots, specifically from the renowned Anoa’i family deeply associated with wrestling. She is the daughter of Peter Maivia, a celebrated wrestler, and Lia Maivia, a wrestling promoter. Wrestling heritage ran deep in Johnson’s family, proving beneficial to him as he often enlisted his cousin, Tanoai “Toa” Reed from American Gladiators, as his stunt double in various projects spanning from “The Scorpion King” in 2002 to “Black Adam” in 2022.