Dwayne Johnson is big. Really big. The WWE wrestler-turned-Hollywood star is 6ft 4in, a solid 250lb-worth of hunk, and the world’s biggest movie star.
In 2015, The Rock’s films reportedly made $1.488bn at the box office, and in 2018, he earned the highest-ever total for acting earnings in the history of Forbes' Celebrity 100, a cool $124m. Like his on-screen personas, the man is unstoppable.
Johnson has lent his nice guy charm and heroic physicality to a string of big-budget action epics, from Rampage to San Andreas, which have seen him film in locations across the globe. And being the social media savvy star that he is, The Rock has always let his fans in on the behind-the-scenes action, allowing them to tour the world with him by offering up glimpses into his jet-setting lifestyle.
Just recently, the megastar posted a pic of his massive travelling gym, dubbed the Iron Paradise, which is currently set up in the middle of the Hawaiian jungle, where he’s filming Disney's Jungle Cruise. And it’s not just fitspiration pics he posts either.
Whether it’s him larking about on his Florida-beach-based set for Baywatch or hanging out with Kevin Hart on the lush, green set of Jumanji, some of his filming locations give us serious wanderlust. So here are 22 places that have hosted The Rock in the past five years, and provided the backdrop to some of his biggest movies.
22 22. Doubling Up For California: Queensland, Australia
Johnson filmed big-budget disaster movie San Andreas on location in Queensland in 2014, doubling the Aussie state for California. In the movie, Johnson played a helicopter pilot searching for his daughter in the aftermath of an earthquake that devastates the Pacific Coast.
Off camera, The Rock found time to enjoy some local wildlife while filming in locations that included Ipswich and Brisbane. He wrote on Instagram: “Thank you Australia for opening your arms (and Koala claws) w/ love being able to call Australia "Home" has been a true pleasure and unforgettable experience.”
21 21. Central Intelligence: Massachusetts, US
This action comedy, starring Kevin Hart and The Rock, was filmed in various locations throughout Massachusetts, including Boston, Burlington, Lynn, Middleton, and Quincy. The cast was glimpsed by gawkers and paps as they walked into Somerville’s On the Hill Tavern to shoot a scene.
In the movie, Hart played a former high school sports star turned accountant who, on the eve of a class reunion, is contacted by a former classmate (Johnson), a once bullied "loser" who is now a CIA agent.
20 20. Jumanji: Welcome To The Hawaiian Jungle
This updated continuation of the classic 1995 film used many Hawaiian locations for filming, which was quite emotional for The Rock. He said of the experience: “It's such a cool thing for me to bring the production of this movie to Hawaii. The positive ripple effect it has on local businesses and families in terms of creating jobs and additional income makes me very happy. I grew up on the island thru hard times and good times, so it means a lot to this local boy.”
A majority of the film's exteriors were shot on Oahu, with a large number of scenes at Kualoa Ranch. And if any of it looks familiar, you may recognise the famous Kualoa Mountains from Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and the Lost television series, just to name a few.
19 19. On A Rampage in Georgia, US
The Rock has filmed scenes for many movies in Atlanta, Georgia, including the seventh and eights Fast And Furious instalments. Most recently, however, he was in the southern state to film scenes for Rampage, a monster blockbuster.
Tucked into a few scenes in the movie is a lush bamboo forest — the same bamboo forest found at Gainesville’s Brenau University. With a bit of CGI, Rampage turned a dense patch of bamboo near downtown Gainesville into a sprawling forest.
Johnson also took a break from filming to kick back with his family at the Georgia Aquarium.
18 18. Pain & Gain In Miami, Florida
Pain & Gain is a 2013 US dark comedy crime film directed by Michael Bay, starring Mark Wahlberg and, of course, Dwayne Johnson. Unusually (for Hollywood), this based-on-a-true-story tale was actually filmed in the same general area of Miami as events happened.
The action is focused on the Sun Gym, which was shut down in 1995 and converted into a perfume warehouse. However, an empty 40,000-sq-ft building, about 12 miles away from the real location, was turned into a Hollywood version of the notorious gym.
17 17. The Film Not Even The Rock Could Save - Baywatch: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Okay, so this film didn’t exactly please the critics, or audiences, but it does offer a handful of beachy South Florida filming locations that we wouldn’t mind checking out.
While the TV series took place in Malibu (California), this movie is set in a fictional Emerald Bay at Broward County in Florida. The central filming location was Deerfield Beach in Florida. The production also filmed near the International Fishing Pier. However, don't expect to find a lifeguard tower there. It was built just for the movie.
16 16. Vancouver Stands In For Hong Kong: Skyscraper
This action thriller sees Johnson’s character, Will, framed for a crime before having his family taken and held hostage in the tallest skyscraper in the world, which is subsequently set ablaze.
Although it’s set in Hong Kong, Skyscraper filmed in Vancouver and its surrounding area. Locations included Seymour Street and Dunsmuir Street, 600 Expo Boulevard, the Consulate General of Italy on West Hastings Street, Cecil Green Park House at the University of British Columbia and 500 Beatty Street Alley.
15 15. Fast And Furious In The Canary Islands
Most of the memorable hard-core action scenes in Fast And Furious 6 were filmed in the Canary Islands. The spectacular set-piece attack on the convoy, where Shaw (The Rock) emerges in a seven-ton, customised Chieftain tank, was filmed on Autopista TF-1, east of Las Cristianos, on Tenerife, and the GC-2 motorway, in the section between El Pagador and Santa María de Guía, in the north of Gran Canaria.
Huge crowds would show up each day for filming. The sides of towering Mount Teide, the world’s third highest volcano, provided a convenient vantage point from which to watch all the action. Just about every stunt, every take, and every scene were recorded by locals on their smartphones and other recording devices – and subsequently put up on YouTube.
14 14. The Rock Goes Greek In Hungary
Watching Dwayne Johnson don a lion’s head and smash things with a giant club, Hercules looks like one tough movie to shoot, and according to reports, it really was. Word is, the shoot was gruelling, subjecting actors and handlers to immense heat and long hours. Thankfully, the movie’s heroic protagonist was up to the challenge and then some.
This big-budget version of Hercules was shot on location in Hungary. Production was based at Origo Film Studio in Budapest, a facility that offers eight separate sound stages.
13 13. Hitting The Beach In Tybee Island, Georgia
Baywatch was also filmed on the beautiful Tybee Island beach (Georgia), on the north and south end of the waterfront. The filmmakers were on Tybee Island for about two weeks, and local landmarks involved in the shoot included Walter Parker Pier and Pavilion.
Tybee Island is a small coastal community located only 18 miles away from historic Savannah, Georgia, and it is consistently named as one of the top-rated beaches in the US.
Arguably the largest film hosted by the community, an open casting call gave tourists and locals a spot in the limelight, and onlookers watched the action from afar.
12 12. San Francisco Gets The Disaster Movie Treatment: San Andreas
Dwayne Johnson filmed some scenes for his earthquake disaster movie San Andreas on location in San Francisco. The city was, in fact, a relatively minor pit-stop for the film, which was not eligible for filming incentive support in California as a big-budget production.
Filming was focussed on the Fisherman’s Wharf region of the city and baseball ground AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants. A major visual effects sequence also involved the Golden Gate Bridge.
11 11. The Rock On Ice: The Fate Of The Furious
One of the most thrilling segments in the Fast And Furious’ eighth instalment was shot in Iceland. The basic plot of the film revolves around some guys who drive cars. They drive cars and usually the cars crash but they survive before flying to another place to drive cars there. Then there’s usually a bad guy who drives a car before meeting a tragic end.
This particular five-minute, action-packed sequence involved, you may have guessed, fast cars, and was filmed over the Mývatn Lake in Northern Iceland.
10 10. The Rock Gets Serious In Shreveport: Snitch
This action drama stars Johnson as a construction company bigshot whose college-bound son unknowingly agrees to let a pal ship a load of illegal substances to his house. Bad idea. After being caught, and facing 10 years in prison, his father convinces the U.S. Attorney, played by Susan Sarandon, to let him go undercover to infiltrate a powerful drug cartel.
Although set mainly in Missouri, Snitch was filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the jailhouse scenes were filmed in an actual prison.
9 9. Fast And Furious Action Sequences In London
Following the highly successful exploits of Fast Five, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his team returned in Fast And Furious 6 to bring a rival gang to justice in exchange for clearing their records and their ticket home.
Much of the film was shot in London’s Shepperton and Longcross Studios but after an initial recce of Wembley Stadium, producers were convinced the iconic London stadium had potential for much more than was originally planned. The filming at Wembley evolved from a small scene to one spanning into a five-night shoot to incorporate a thrilling action sequence, which involved Dwayne Johnson's character being filmed in some pretty elaborate action scenes. The city's famous Tower Bridge also makes an appearance in the film.
8 8. The Fate Of The Furious In Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
Doubling as New York, downtown Cleveland was the location for some of this film’ most memorable action sequences. The junction of Superior Avenue and E. 6th street and Perk Plaza were featured, as was the Halle Bros Parking Garage 1118 Prospect Ave E.
Another sequence filmed in Cleveland is comprised of Dom's getaway with the nuclear football. It's here when the franchise, at least temporarily, gets back to its street racing roots as Dwayne Johnson’s character, Hobbs, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) try to bring Dom in with perhaps the most thrilling car chase of the whole franchise.
7 7. Jungle Cruise On Kauai, Hawaii
Earlier this year, The Rock was back in Hawaii filming for his upcoming new Disney movie, Jungle Cruise. This time, however, the star was based on the island of Kauai, with the main set built on the Kapaia Reservoir.
Jungle Cruise is an adventure film based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name, and it will also star British actress Emily Blunt. The production began filming in early May before packing up and moving on to its next location in Atlanta.
6 6. Puerto Rico Stands In For Rio: Fast Five
The Rock made his Fast & Furious debut as Hobbs in Fast Five, the fifth instalment which largely takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. However, much of the filming actually took place in Puerto Rico.
When Hobbs’ agents descend on the favela hideout, the subsequent foot chase – complicated by the appearance of Reyes’ men – was filmed in the small hillside town of Naranjito, located in the mountainous central region of Puerto Rico, about ten miles southwest of San Juan.
The streets of ‘Rio’ are actually the Río Piedras and Milla de Oro district in Hato Rey, San Juan, with the massive vault careering wildly at high speed along Avenida Ponce de León at Calle Betances. The chase climaxes on a lengthy causeway, which is the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge.
5 5. GI Joe Retaliation: New Orleans, Louisiana
This GI Joe sequel, which starred Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum, was largely filmed in New Orleans. The reason for this was partly the tax credit, but also because the production got to film in a NASA facility that is used to build parts for the Space Shuttle. Around 65-70% of the film was filmed on the NASA base and they got a ton of production value by using existing structures.
The production was the first ever to film on the base and it took four or five months to get the approvals to do so.
4 4. A Mutated Ape Takes On Chicago: Rampage
Chicago provided the fictional backdrop for battling monsters in the action flick Rampage. Based on a 1986 arcade game by the same name, the Warner Brothers film, which saw The Rock battle a mutated ape, wolf, and crocodile, was mostly filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, with some additional shoots in the Windy City.
Landmarks along Chicago’s Wacker Drive were used, as was the Renaissance Hotel, the Leo Burnett Building, and the Dearborn Street bridge house. There was also “something” lurking in the Chicago River and it didn’t look too friendly.
3 3. Journey 2 Wilmington, North Carolina
This sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth starred Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens and Kristin Davis. Much of the shoot for Journey 2 The Mysterious Island was done on location in Hawaii, however, some of the action sequences took place on sound stages at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. The movie used Stage 10, the lot’s largest, as well as a water tank built by the production specifically for the shoot.
Beyond the soundstage, parts of the film were shot in a neighbourhood off Eastwood Road near Autumn Hall, as well as at a private residence in Forest Hills.