“Never in my wildest dreams…,” wrote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Nov. 26, while sharing the NBC promo for the upcoming Young Rock series to his Instagram. The commercial, which aired during the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, transformed Johnson, 48, into one of the event’s trademark balloons. But, this balloon wasn’t of The Rock when he was an active WWE Superstar, or when he first got his big acting break in The Scorpion King, or even his recent turn in the Fast & Furious films. No, this ‘float’ was of his now-infamous 1990s “Fanny Pack” picture, with a chain, fake Tag watch, and leather fanny pack.
Granted, the “balloon” was CGI – you can tell because it’s floating throughout Manhattan, and the balloons in the 2020 parade were flown low to the ground due to the reduced number of personnel because of COVID-19. The fact that it wasn’t real didn’t mean The Rock wasn’t tickled pink by it. “I’ve been a lucky SOB to have done some pretty cool shit in my career, but after seeing my @nbcyoungrock FANNY PACK FLOAT in the #MacysThanksgivingParade, this might take the cake,” he wrote.
The image made The Rock a bit reflective, as he looked at the young man this float was “mocking” and saw a whole adventure laid out before him. This photo “represent(s) when I had just $7bucks in my fanny pack, but at least I had enough COOL to tuck my turtleneck in and where fake silver jewelry because it was all I could afford,” he wrote. “And my massive plucked raised eyebrow is the stuff that dreams (and nightmares) are made of. Float on, kid.. you might just make it one day.”
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) July 16, 2014
Though the Rock’s “fanny pack” photo had been shared around wrestling message boards in the early 2000s, the former WWE Champion “broke the internet” in 2014 by sharing a high-grade version of the photo. “Fanny pack and lean take it to a whole other level,” he captioned his tweet. Since then, Dwayne has watched as his photo has become a meme, to where his friends and costars – Seth Rogen, Kevin Hart – have all dressed up like it for Halloween.
Fans will see how The Rock got to become the global superstar that he is today by watching Young Rock. The new comedy, set for February 2021 premiere on NBC, will depict Johnson at three different stages in his early life: as a 10-year-old (played by Adrian Groulx) growing up in a “strong and reliant family,” per Variety; at age 15 (played by Bradley Constant), where he finds himself surrounded by the wild characters of professional wrestling; and at ages 18-20 (portrayed by Uli Latukefu), when Dwayne was on a football scholarship to the University of Miami.
The Rock has already started showing previews of the series, including “mini-me hanging out at the house with wrestling legend THE JUNKYARD DOG,” “the day I learned a GIANT LESSON from the man I affectionately always called ‘Uncle Andre’ Growing Up,” and a shot of Joseph Lee Anderson, the actor cast to play The Rock’s late father, Rocky Johnson.