Dwayne Johnson, People‘s new Sexiest Man Alive, has a message to all his admirers: “You’re welcome.” That’s the tongue-in-cheek title of the song that Johnson’s character, the demi-god Maui, sings in Disney’s new animated film Moana (in theaters on Nov. 23). In celebration of the film’s Los Angeles premiere (and, perhaps, of his Sexiest Man title), the actor sang a duet of “You’re Welcome” on the red carpet last night with songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda. Check it out below.
— Disney News Latino (@DisneyNewsLA) November 15, 2016
Watching the video, it’s apparent that for Johnson — a multi-talented star who’s obviously game for anything — performing a musical number isn’t entirely in his comfort zone. (Thankfully, he had Hamilton star and creator Miranda to give him a boost.) In an interview with E! News, the actor agreed that singing for the film was intimidating.
“I’ve sung in the past, and in Polynesian culture, we sing, we dance, we play ukulele or guitar, things like that — but not to this level,” said Johnson. “It’s Disney, and there’s music involved. In a way, it’s a musical. There’s a lot of pressure…But I had the best time — really, the best time.”
Watch a clip of Dwayne Johnson singing “You’re Welcome'” in ‘Moana.’
He added that Miranda really helped him channel his inner Broadway star. “He sent me the song and I tried it, but it wasn’t until after we were done with the session — it was like six hours — that I understood…these are really challenging lyrics in how they’re put together, and where you go with it rhythmically and intonation. He goes, ‘I want you to know: Feel good about yourself,’ ” Johnson recalled. “Because again, I never did it, all right? It was my first shot at this. He goes, ‘I want you to know, you’re real good. This is hard. You nailed it.’ I was like, ‘Thank you so much.’ “
This summer, Johnson shared a video of himself and Miranda having an impromptu duet of “Gaston” from Beauty and the Beast.
‘Moana’: Watch a trailer: