The Rock Says He Wants To Make Movies “That Matter,” And Also More Fast & Furious Films

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is taking a dramatic turn for his next film, The Smashing Machine, which is directed by Benny Safdie. Johnson said in a new interview with Variety that he feels he now wants to make more dramatic films (and also continue to make the movies that he is best known for).

“I’m at a point in my career where I want to push myself in ways that I’ve not pushed myself in the past. I’m at a point in my career where I want to make films that matter, that explore a humanity and explore struggle [and] pain,” he said.

Johnson stars in The Smashing Machine as Mark Kerr, the real-life extreme fighter known for his brutal bouts in mixed martial arts and a personal life that included drug addiction.

Johnson said he was drawn to the movie in part because Safdie wants to tell a story that was “raw and real,” with “characters that are authentic and at times uncomfortable and arresting.”

Do not expect Johnson to stop appearing in the the type films he’s best known for–sprawling, big-budget, action, and adventure movies. But with The Smashing Machine, Johnson is trying something new.

“I want to be clear not to say that this is an abandonment of big, four-quadrant movies. I love making them, and there is tremendous value and importance in [them]” he said. “But there’s a time and a place for them. I’m at this point in my career where I want more. And I don’t mean I want more box office. I mean I want more humanity. And that is why Benny Safdie is the perfect, collaborative, hungry partner for me.”

In 2002, HBO released a documentary about Mark Kerr called The Smashing Machine, but the Safdie film is a dramatic take on the fighter’s life.

In addition to The Smashing Machine, Johnson’s other upcoming movies include the holiday film Red One with Chris Evans, Jungle Cruise 2, and more Fast & Furious films.

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