Dwayne Johnson When He Was Fat

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the most muscular men in movie history. With a pro wrestling career spanning decades and a body that shows off countless years of hard-core resistance training, the star of Baywatch, Rampage, and the newly released Black Adam is as impressive as it gets. Even so, it would be hard to believe that The Rock was once quite a bit fatter.

In Central Intelligence, the action-comedy that co-stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as former high school classmates who become a CIA spy and an accountant, there's a flashback scene in which the Rock's character is dragged naked from the locker room showers into a gym full of kids. It's a pretty powerful moment in the film, and it was made possible by using face-replacement technology to superimpose his face onto Vine star Sione Kelepi's obese body.

Thurber says they used a combination of techniques like 3D facial scanning, performance capture (think dozens of tracking dots affixed to both Kelepi's and Johnson's faces to pick up every wink and wrinkle), and computer graphics to achieve the effect. They also de-aged the real-life Johnson, who was only 18 during the shoot, to match Kelepi's physical appearance.

It was a big challenge to meet the film's grueling production schedule, as the cast worked around the clock to deliver the action and humor promised in the final cut of the movie. But Rienzi says he was up for the challenge because "I knew I could get back to that level of fitness in a relatively short period of time." The final fat-burning phase was done closer to filming by adding 30-second sprint intervals followed by two minutes of steady effort.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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