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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Brings Samoan Heritage To Hobbs & Shaw

As the opening of Hobbs & Shaw approaches, star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been heavily promoting in public and on social media. Billed as a spinoff from the Fast & Furious franchise, the film is doing more than just focusing primarily on Johnson’s Hobbs and co-star Jason Statham’s character Shaw. The project features a cultural connection to the Black Samoan actor/producer. One that Johnson has been planning on expressing for a few years now.

Sitting down with the Los Angeles Times, Johnson discussed the addition of developing Hobbs’ (and Johnson’s) heritage into the Fast & Furious universe:

““There is a word in Polynesian language, mana — which is like spirit and soul and power — and the mana was so real on set. We’re in the islands, we’re on sacred ground to begin with… It was our way of paying homage and honoring a culture that I’m very proud of, and that has been responsible for teaching me defining values throughout the years.”

Related – Dwayne Johnson Says Black Adam Will Start Out As A Villain

Hobbs & Shaw will be the first film of its scale, and one of a only few period, to showcase the Samoan culture to this extent. While The Fate Of The Furious did feature Hobbs leading his daughter’s soccer team in a traditional Polynesian Haka, Hobbs & Shaw features a pinnacle scene where Hobbs leads his brothers (which includes Johnson’s cousin Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoa’i and Cliff Curtis) in a traditional Samoan war dance called the “siva tau.” Johnson explains during filming how the scene affected his mother Ata, who had visited the set and was unaware of the scene they were filming:

“I look over and she is bawling. The mama’s doing the ugly cry! I didn’t show her any rehearsals. She’s never heard me speak in Samoan to that extent. As I’m calling, I’m speaking to God and to atua, and we start our movements and I say, ‘This will be the last face you see before you die,’ and she’s bawling… After the take — it’s so beautiful and I’ll never forget this — all the guys go over to her. ‘Oh, Mama, are you okay?’ and give her hugs.”

The Fast And The Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw hits theaters this Friday.

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Source: Los Angeles Times.

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