One of the best scenes in The Fate of the Furious (in theaters now) doesn’t involve cars, guns, or stunt doubles: just Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a girls’ soccer team. Early in the film, Johnson’s character, DSS agent Luke Hobbs, leads his young daughter and her teammates in the Haka, the traditional Polynesisan war dance. Though popularized worldwide by New Zealand sports teams, the ancient Maori ritual is a part of Johnson’s Samoan ancestry, which is what inspired director F. Gary Gray to include it in the film. And it wasn’t just a gimmick: Johnson, Gray, and choreographer Layne Hannemann took the dance seriously, teaching the girls the meaning of every movement and having the whole dance blessed by Maori elders in New Zealand prior to shooting. Watch a behind-the-scenes video below (originally posted in August on the official Fast and Furious Twitter).
— Fast & Furious (@FastFurious) August 5, 2016
Johnson also posted his own behind-the-scenes video on Instagram last summer, and described how meaningful and emotional the Haka is to him. “I told our director @fgarygray to be prepared for anything from me. I might cry, yell, speak with only my eyes and definitely give me space after every take,” he wrote. “The HAKA brings out our mana. Our spirit.” Read the full post and watch Johnson’s video below.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Dwayne Johnson show off his Haka moves. While recording the role of shape-shifting demigod Maui in Disney’s animated film Moana, he did a Haka in character (below).
Then, while promoting the movie, Johnson did a surprise shirtless Haka on Good Morning America.
Too bad he couldn’t get the rest of his Fast and Furious family in on that action. A Haka involving Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and Tyrese would have made for an awesome post-credits sequence.
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