Exclusive: How Dwayne Johnson Battled Through an Epic Injury on the Set of ‘Hercules’

It was while shooting the adventure-epic Hercules, which opens this Friday, that director Brett Ratner discovered the true strength and toughness of leading man Dwayne Johnson. Sure, there was the grueling 32-week regimen Johnson undertook to play the son of Zeus — the insane 7-meal-a-day diet alone would fell most mortals. But what really impressed Ratner, as you can see in the exclusive behind-the-scenes clip above, was the actor’s cheerful willingness to work (and play) through pain.

Before shooting commenced, Johnson faced the prospect of having tendon-repair surgery to take care of a serious injury he suffered many years earlier when he wrestled under the nom du guerre The Rock. He chose to delay the procedure, but had to go under the knife to repair a triple-hernia just two weeks before the start of principal photography. “I’m here for you,” Ratner recalls Johnson reassuring him as they rescheduled production. The director finds something a bit god-like about his star: “He rehabilitated himself probably five times faster than anyone else would have been able to.” Watch the entire clip to find out more about Johnson’s high pain threshold — and why he may not be human after all.

Want to see Hercules? Visit our Showtimes page to get tickets.