Dwayne Johnson, billed as the Executive Produce/Mentor/Motivator behind TNT’s new reality competition series The Hero, appeared at the TCA Press Tour to talk about his new TV gig and how he planned on fitting his hosting duties in with his film career and his upcoming four-month stint with the WWE.
Not much is known about Dwayne Johnson/The Rock’s TNT reality series The Hero (since it’s still in pre-production) so I asked him so give me a more concrete idea of what we could expect. The answer seemed a bit all over the map, and I’m not sure that I know that much more about The Hero than before I asked, but I’m definitely excited.
“The idea was to do something big,” Johnson said right off the bat. “I started my career in television almost fifteen years ago. With the WWE I was able to transition outside of TV and have a really solid film career, which I’ve enjoyed. The idea here was to go back and do something big, impactful and special. And surround myself with the right guys – Ben [Silverman, EP] being one of them, along with TNT. We wanted to do something special. And it was quality individuals doing heroic things. So we have some cops, we have some SWAT members, we have some stay-at-home moms, we have some single dads. So there’re a lot of heroic people put into positions to do extraordinary things. And I know it sounds like a tagline, but these individuals are going to do something special.”
“There’s a morality component to our show too,” Johnson continued. “And in that reality, we’re going to create heroes, and often times we’ll create villains as well. Ultimately, it was to create a show where we were going to have fun, make an impact and showcase some people doing some extraordinary things. The locales are going to be amazing. Everything you’d expect from me, from the brand. In terms of being big and exciting. The action sequences are going to be phenomenal.”
Executive Producer Ben Silverman then added to what Johnson said: “There are a lot of unique elements to the show that are so specific that, since we’re shooting it in February around the world, the contestants don’t know yet, so we can’t give it away here. But one of the most unique elements of the show is the question ‘What makes a hero?’ Is a hero someone who would maybe have to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team? Or is a hero someone who might have to make a choice between saving ten people but hurting three people in the process?”
“And throughout,” Silverman kept on, “there will be elements that celebrate Dwayne’s roles from the movies. Or characters like Shane, or John McClane in Die Hard. But this isn’t a show that a goody two-shoes wins. This is a show that requries hard choices. And those choices are really going to be one that showcase what a hero is. They’re all elements of team play that do require both brains and brawn. So a teacher has just as much of a chance to be a hero as a much as a firefighter.”
So how is Johnson able to fit this into his movie and WWE schedule? “Seamlessly,” Johnson joked. Then, in all seriousness, Johnson re-addressed, “So how am I going to fit all this into my life, by the way, over the next four months? As long as I eat right, I’m good.”
“Which is like nine times a day,” Silverman added. “There hasn’t been a meeting where there hasn’t been some incoming protein.”
The Hero begins production in February and will air in the Spring on TNT.
Follow Matt Fowler on Twitter at @TheMattFowler