There's no way around it: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson owes at least some of his fame to the way his dominating figure fits the blockbuster action stereotype with near-mechanical sleekness. However, he also offers an alternative to that reductive perspective. Looking sharp in a business suit and speaking with the relaxed professional discipline of a CEO, Johnson showed up at a screening of Get Smart on Sunday at the CineVegas Film Festival displaying sheer confidence. The screening took place at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, where Johnson had recently acted in Race to Witch Mountain ("We just added to the chaos," he said), but on this visit, Johnson got a chance to remind people that he's not just a one-note performer, but someone who plays an active role in the international film community (not to mention the health community, since The Rock Foundation pushes obesity prevention).

Outside of his supremely meta performance in Richard Kelly's Southland Tales, Johnson has made his interests in adventurous cinema increasingly clear, and boldly champions independent artists. You can get a small glimpse of this aspect of his personality in Operation Filmmaker, documentarian Nina Davenport's account of an Iraqi filmmaker named Muthana Mohmed whose aspirations tragically fall short of the expectations surrounding him. Landing the opportunity to work for Liev Schreiber on the set of Everything is Illuminated, the 25-year-old Mohmed grows increasingly frustrated with the boring tasks given to him, and continually blows opportunities as a result of his unbalanced work ethic.
categories Movies, Cinematical