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GQ JUNE COVER ADVANCE: DWAYNE JOHNSON

DWAYNE JOHNSON FOR PRESIDENT!

Johnson Talks about His Political Aspirations, What He Thinks of the Current Leadership, and The Muslim Ban

New York, N.Y.—“I think that it’s a real possibility,” Dwayne Johnson solemnly tells GQ’s Caity Weaver when she asks if he would give up being the highest paid movie star on the planet to run for President. “A year ago, it started coming up more and more. There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think ‘Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.’” Johnson covers the June issue of GQ, with photos by Peggy Sirota.

Last year, Johnson says, both presidential campaigns reached out to him for his endorsement. “Which I did not give. I felt like…and give me a second, because I've never said this publicly, so…” He stops to gather his thoughts. “I feel like I'm in a position now where my word carries a lot of weight and influence, which of course is why they want the endorsement. But I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the process and felt like if I did share my political views publicly, a few things would happen—and these are all conversations I have with myself, in the gym at four o'clock in the morning—I felt like it would either (a) make people unhappy with the thought of whatever my political view was. And, also, it might sway an opinion, which I didn't want to do.”

Weaver prods him further on the issue, asking how Johnson thinks Donald Trump is doing so far. “Mmm… With any job you come into, you've got to prove yourself. And…” Johnson pauses, “Personally, I feel that if I were president, poise would be important. Leadership would be important. Taking responsibility for everybody. [If I didn't agree with someone] on something, I wouldn't shut them out. I would actually include them. The first thing we'd do is we'd come and sit down and we'd talk about it. It's hard to categorize right now how I think he's doing, other than to tell you how I would operate, what I would like to see.” Johnson goes on to explain, “I'd like to see a better leadership. I'd like to see a greater leadership. When there's a disagreement, and you have a large group of people that you're in a disagreement with—for example, the media—I feel like it informs me that I could be better. We all have issues, and we all gotta work our shit out. And I feel like one of the qualities of a great leader is not shutting people out. I miss that part. Even if we disagree, we've got to figure it out.”

The Muslim ban is one political issue on which Johnson has no problem taking a hard line. “I completely disagree with it,” he says without hesitation. “I believe in our national security to the core, but I don't believe in a ‘ban’ that bans immigrants. I believe in inclusion. Our country was built on that, and it continues to be made strong by that.”

“If [becoming the president] is something he focused on,” says Ron Meyer, the NBCUniversal vice chairman, “he probably would accomplish it. I think there's nothing that he couldn't do.” And Meyer doesn’t demure when asked if he would vote for Johnson if he were on a presidential ballot. “Oh, I would vote for him without a question,” he says. And he’s not the only one who feels this way. “A trillion percent,” says producer Beau Flynn, when posed with the same question. He is even more optimistic about Johnson's chances for victory. “One hundred percent, he would win, I have no doubt. His level of commitment and his care for people would translate immediately. If he looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I want to build a campaign. I want to run for the president of the United States,’ done, and you can lock it.”

The June issue of GQ will be on newsstands in New York and LA May 16 and nationwide May 23.

Carly Holden
GQ
Communications Director
212-286-3632

 

Date: 
Wednesday, May 10, 2017