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Joseph Lee Anderson On Playing Rocky Johnson in Young Rock, Training to Get In Ring Shape

February 16, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Joseph Lee Anderson Young Rock

Joseph Lee Anderson plays the one and only Rocky Johnson in NBC’s Young Rock which premieres tonight, and he discussed taking on the role in a new interview. Anderson spoke with Wrestling Inc about growing up as a wrestling fan, talking with The Rock about his character, and more. You can check out the highlights below:

On growing up as a fan of wrestling during the Attitude Era: “I never went to a show and always wanted to but could never afford it. I got caught up in the show. Everything about it looked so cool on TV. Me and my brother would always watch.”

On talking with Rock about playing Johnson: “He just told me to be as charismatic as you can and as loving as you can. Just be true. Him and his father had a very complicated relationship, but Dwayne for the show, wanted to focus on the good. The good in their relationship. Rocky was a guy who could make everyone feel amazing and like a million bucks no matter who you are. That’s the type of Rocky you’re going to see on the show. Very charismatic. Very likable dude.”

On training to get in shape for the role: “I got up to 250 pounds. It was rough because quarantine was happening and all the gyms were shut down in L.A., but we got it done. We always get tested and make sure it is safe keeping distance.”

On working with Chavo Guerrero in the wrestling action: “He taught me a lot of moves. It was great. With the acting, you’re doing a lot of takes over and over again. We’re doing a five or seven minute match 10 times. You have to get the angles right, so you have to keep doing those bumps. It was a lot of work.”

On filming the show in Australia: “It’s a big difference over in [Australia] is they have the virus under control. When we were on set, there was always masks. We would get tested three times a week. We were treating it like there was COVID everywhere. When we could leave, everything was open and nobody was really wearing masks there. It was living a normal life again. It’s different being on set now. The protocols are good. We got to take care of everybody and get the work done.”

On the show providing representation: “I think showing a Polynesian family as well. Showing a Samoan family on TV. It’s big. It’s great for everybody. [I hope audiences] get good laughs, but I think with Rock’s life it shows you can start at the bottom. You can go through a rough patch and the wrong path, but you can still grow and change. And if you keep pushing, you can reach the top.”