The actor who shares the big screen with Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway in Get Smart talked to about his new film role

By Ana Paula Ayanegui / NYC
Updated June 20, 2008
Warner Bros. Pictures

The 36-year-old actor, also known as The Rock for his successful turn as a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler, plays Agent 23 in Get Smart.

Get Smart is the film adaptation of the eponymous 1960's TV series that centers on Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell, Agent 86, who works for a secret government agency called Control. KAOS, who is Control's nemesis, has its sights set on world domination, and it's up to Smart and his buddies to save the planet.

Although Dwayne Johnson started off his career in Hollywood by playing in action movies, he's proven his versatility as by starring in, not only physically demanding roles, but also dramas and family comedies such as The Game Plan. But this time around, in Get Smart, the challenge was to keep up with funny men Steve Carell and Alan Arkin.

Tell me a little bit about Get Smart
This was a movie we all wanted to make a reality. We wanted to combine good action scenes and really fun comedy. And I think we were successful in combining a great cast of talented and fun actors. The truth is that we had a blast doing the film, and I'm happy with the outcome, and audiences seem to be happy too when they leave the theater.

Why did you decide to do this film?
I read the script and I thought it was really funny and entertaining. Then I met with the director Peter Segal and I told him I would love to be in the movie. He told me my role was small, but that they were going to rewrite it to make it bigger. We talked very briefly about money, but I told him that really wasn't important to me because I was just interested in working with Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and Alan Arkin.

Doing a comedy with Steve Carell must be like playing soccer with David Beckham. Did you ever feel intimidated about not being on his level?
It sounds a lot harder than it actually is, because he's so good that he makes your job easy. Steve has proved in the past that he can do drama and comedy, and now he's proven he can do action. He's a complete actor, and because of that, my job was simple. It was an honor to work with him because he's a giant in the comedy world, and I learned a lot from him.

We've seen you do drama, comedy, and action as well. Which one is most challenging for you?
I think action is the most challenging for me, because it's so physically demanding, and although I like it a lot and it's fun, it does wear down on me. I love comedy because it's so liberating, and it's nice to make people laugh, and it makes you feel good to be able to do that. The thing about action movies is that I like to do my own stunts, but to do that I have to be in really god shape and well prepared, and it's a little bit exhausting.