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The Rock Wears Beard Made of Real Yak Hair, Transforms Into ‘Hercules’

Elizabeth Durand Streisand
Yahoo Movies
March 24, 2014

It's not every actor who is willing (or able) to take on one of the world's most iconic roles, but Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is hardly your run-of-the-mill thesp. The 6-foot-five action star jumped at the chance to portray Greek mythology's most famous demigod — and based on the pics he's shared on Twitter so far, he quite possibly embodies Hercules like no man has before.

On Saturday, he tweeted an image of himself in full Herculean garb, bracing himself against three massive horses. But it's not the animals that steal the show; it's The Rock's completely yoked shoulders and back.

It should come as no surprise that he's in stunning shape for this role, considering the workout routine he followed in preparation for the film, which sounded grueling — even for him.

"It's incredible, he's up every morning at 3:45 right on the treadmill, then it was right to the gym for hours," producer Beau Flynn explained to USA Today. "And then it was to the makeup chair, then shooting all day in the heat. And repeat that for 90 days."

It seems all his hard work paid off. On Monday, Johnson shared another pic, depicting himself in the throngs of battle, complete with flexing muscles, a giant club, and yes, a beard made of "yes, real yak hair." Johnson admitted that looking picture-perfect was a big effort, and required 3.5 hours to complete. (They eventually got the processes down to 2.5, but still.)

"The No. 1 goal is to make the definitive version of 'Hercules,'" said Johnson. "We know we're going to be under a microscope."

In pursuit of this lofty aim, director Brett Ratner begins the tale just after the hero has endured his 12 Labors. (In case your mythology is a little rusty, those were Hercules's punishments for killing his family in a fit of insanity and included slaying the nine-headed hydra and the Nemean lion.)

[Related: 'Hercules' Hunk-Off -- Kellan Lutz vs. Dwayne Johnson as Dueling Demigods]

Showing off some of the lengths he went to for the part, Johnson tweeted a shot from set of his broad, bloodied back. Yikes.

Hercules no doubt suffers, but he also enjoys victories. (He is a god, after all.) Earlier, The Rock posted a dramatic black-and-white image of himself sporting a lion headpiece and riding an ornate chariot. If this isn't Hercules, we don't know what is.

Interestingly, there is one moment that he recalls when he suddenly felt he had become one with the titular character.

"It's when Hercules breaks through the chains and becomes the demigod he was born to be," the star explained. "I was actually yelling with all the power I could muster, 'I am Hercules!' I gave it my all and made myself pass out every time we did it. But I honestly felt in that moment that I was born to play this role." We can't argue with you there.

"Hercules" opens in theaters July 25. But before that, keep your eyes peeled for the film's first trailer on Tuesday.