Dwayne Johnson will be the first to tell you that he had to swallow his pride when he did the family comedy “Tooth Fairy.” That’s because he plays the title character, and he had to wear a tutu and fairy wings in many of the scenes. It’s quite a departure for the former pro wrestler also known as The Rock, but Johnson says he did it all in the name of comedy.
Johnson’s character in the movie is Derek Thompson, a hockey player who turns into a tooth fairy as punishment for discouraging a child’s dreams. So why did Johnson sign on to for a role that emasculates his macho image? As Johnson said at the Los Angeles press junket for “Tooth Fairy,” he wanted to do this movie for years, and he jumped at the chance when the film became available. (There’s no word yet over whether or not Hulk Hogan is itching to play Tinkerbell in a movie.) Here’s what else Johnson said during the interview.
When you were a child, what did you envision the Tooth Fairy would look like?
When I was a child, I envisioned the Tooth Fairy looking like … Here’s the interesting thing: I’m not quite too sure what I envisioned the Tooth Fairy looking like — probably female, small, wings, pink. But, by the way, here’s the cool thing about making the movie: We get a chance to deliver to the world our version of the Tooth Fairy that’s never been seen.
We all have thoughts of what the Tooth Fairy would look like. I’m pretty sure that children all around the world never envisioned me as the Tooth Fairy. So the goal is to create a good movie with a great, powerful message, and to make people laugh and just remember the magnitude of the power we have and the responsibility of delivering our version of the Tooth Fairy. So I think we did a pretty good job.
Dwayne Johnson in “Tooth Fairy”
What was the typical exchange rate for a tooth when you were a child?
Well, let’s see. The exchange rate when I was a child was probably about a dollar or two, depending on whether it was a molar or not, but the Tooth Fairy was always wonderful to me, and I really appreciate that. There are many Tooth Fairies. Some Tooth Fairies leave money, some little gifts and presents, things like that, which always works. That was the exchange rate back then. But as long as it’s given with love, that’s what Tooth Fairies do.
How did you feel about wearing that tutu?
I felt great about the tutu. Here’s the thing: When you sign on to do a comedy, you can’t worry about looking cool. You’ve got to make people laugh. Cool is the opposite of funny, often, for me, my approach to it. So when not only that, when you’re signing on to do the “Tooth Fairy” [movie], a lot comes with that. That means pink, size 14 ballet slippers, a magic wand, powder-blue wings, pink wings. There’s a lot happening with the “Tooth Fairy” [movie], so when you sign on, be prepared, check your ego at the door, don’t worry about looking cool, and let’s just make people laugh and entertain them.
Dwayne Johnson at the NHL Powered by Reebok store in New York City, January 2010
What’s the one thing that sold you on the idea of playing the Tooth Fairy?
A couple of things sold me on playing the Tooth Fairy. There’s been a lot of versions of the “Tooth Fairy” script floating around Hollywood, for decades, by the way. There have been so many actors who have been attached. It came to me four or five years ago, and then it floated away from me to another actor, a comedic actor who had great success in comedy at that time. And at that time, I didn’t have success in comedy. I get it. No problem.
As soon as it came around, Fox Studios had brought it to me, and I just wasn’t letting it go. I grabbed on to that thing and put a lock and chain on it and held on it with every fiber and muscle, and I was like, “I’m not letting this go. And we’re going to find a great story, great director, great actor. I believe in this. It’s going to be awesome.”
And it was the first thing I loved, which was the concept. It’s the Tooth Fairy. It had never been seen. We had a great opportunity to deliver something cool. The comedy was great. That made me happy. That’s important. The story, the powerful message about believing in the impossible. The impossible is possible. It sounds very clichéd, and oftentimes it is, but when you strip away the cliché and how it’s used oftentimes in our society, it’s still powerful. A powerful message. And then you have a studio, in terms of high-concept comedies, Fox Studios, they do that wonderfully well. So all the stars were aligned nicely.
Dwayne Johnson in “Tooth Fairy”
What are your favorite Tooth Fairy gadgets?
There were many Tooth Fairy gadgets that didn’t make it into the movie. My FairyBerry — BlackBerry — I enjoyed that. The Fairy Fitness Center that I worked out at up in Fairy Land — that got cut from the movie. Why? You don’t want to watch the Tooth Fairy work out, do sets and reps?
I would have to say the amnesia dust. You always have to go back to the amnesia dust. I love the amnesia dust. I’ve had some ex-girlfriends in the past. I’ve said some pretty absurd things to them in arguments. We’ve all been in that position. So I’ve said some things that the moment I left it, I’m in trouble. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.” So if I had that amnesia dust just to keep throwing at them, by the way, we’d be billionaires if I could make that.
For more info: “Tooth Fairy” website
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Interview #1 with Dwayne Johnson for “Race to Witch Mountain”
Interview #2 with Dwayne Johnson for “Race to Witch Mountain”
Interview #3 with Dwayne Johnson for “Race to Witch Mountain”
Interview with Dwayne Johnson for “Planet 51”
“Tooth Fairy” news and reviews
Photo credits: Photo #1: AP. Photos #2, 4: 20th Century Fox. Photo #3: Getty Images.