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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson & Chris Janson Talk ‘Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get’ Video: ‘You Bring Mountain Dew, I’ll Bring Tequila’

You don’t have to ask Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson twice if he wants a good time. 

When Chris Janson called the actor earlier this year to see if he’d appear in the country star’s music video for “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” within an hour, Johnson had replied yes.

The result is a fun escapade as the two ride around a field and lounge in the back of a 1970 brown Ford Explorer in the clip, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. The mood matches the upbeat song’s good-timing lyrics: “When I get a truck, I just jack it up/ Find myself a mudhole, go and get it stuck/ Head to toe in camo, that’s just how it is/ But I ain’t tryna hide, what you see is what you get.”

“I love this song and love the idea behind it, which is just always remain who you are, anchor in and be your real self,” Johnson says, over Zoom. “I always like to say the most important thing we could be is ourselves, and that’s what Chris is. That’s one of the reasons why we bonded and we shot the video and it was awesome.”

The two met in 2022 when Janson was in California with his son and they spotted the wrestling and film superstar in a parking lot, while they were both waiting for their cars. “If it weren’t for my kid going, ‘Oh my gosh, The Rock is right in front of us! Daddy, please ask for a picture,’ this would have never maybe happened,” Janson says. “I’m a pretty shy guy. I’ve never once, I’m proud to say, asked for a photo, because I understand the extent of what it constitutes when you are in the public eye. But God works in mysterious ways.”

Janson introduced himself, the two started talking about country music, and upon discovering their mutual love for Hank Williams Jr., they broke in to his 1980 hit “The Blues Man.” A friendship and a nickname were born: Janson is listed in Johnson’s phone as “Chris ‘The Blues Man’ Janson,” while, for discretion’s sake, Johnson is listed in Janson’s phone simply as “DJ.”

They shot Johnson’s portion of the video outside Dallas on March 8 because he was in town for the WWE Smackdown. They met at the Mesquite Arena, slapped a GoPro camera on the truck and had a video crew follow them, and within two hours they were done. “It was so, so unscripted,” Johnson says. “It was, ‘Hey, I got a truck. You bring your guitar. We got a cool location. You bring your Mountain Dew, I’ll bring the tequila, and let’s see what happens,’” he recalls. “I will say this in front of him: I had the greatest time making this video because as I was telling him afterwards, I gave him a big hug and I said, ‘Dude, I just don’t get moments like this where I could just hang out and be with a buddy and have some drinks and have fun,’ because we’re all so busy.”

The only bummer? They didn’t get to buy the vintage truck, which they both fell in love with. “And at the end of it, DJ goes, ‘We should try to buy this truck!’ And I said, ‘Yes, we should!,’” Janson says. “So we both kind of nice like [asked], ‘Hey, man, you want to sell the truck?’ He’s like, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ He was old-school Texas, which I can appreciate. I respect that.”

So the two friends shared some barbecue, Johnson left for his gig, and Janson left for his. They are still likely to burst into song. As Janson recounts the story, he starts singing George Strait’s “A Showman’s Life.” “That’s a great one,” says Johnson, nodding his head.

Johnson grew up on country music, and by the time he was 15, he had moved from Hawaii to Nashville. As he explains, his career path could have gone very differently. “We were evicted out of Hawaii, couldn’t pay the rent, sent to Nashville,” Johnson says. “I moved in with a buddy of mine, a family friend in a motel. That’s when we started going down, hanging out on [Broadway]. A couple of days later, I was in Piggly Wiggly, singing a Hank song. A woman [who was shopping] came around and she kind of looked at me. I thought I’d done something wrong. She goes, ‘Do you sing?’ I’m 15 and I went, ‘No, I just love to sing. I love country.’ She goes, ‘You should go down to [Broadway]. That’s where all the singers are.’”

Prompted by her words, Johnson started hanging out on Broadway, “trying to get a gig at these honky-tonks because I had this dream in my head — or a delusion— that I was going to be a country music star.” He recounts the story on his Instagram.

As for whether Johnson, who has shown off his singing chops in movies like Moana, is jumping into the country waters like so many other celebrities and making a country album, he says, “We have to work on it. Maybe this year, we’ll see.” But first he plans to take Janson up on his invitation to join him on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Janson joined the esteemed Opry last year and has played it more than 200 times. Or they could hop on stage at Broadway’s legendary Tootsie’s, where Janson was singing while living out of his car while he was still a teenager. “I was living in the backseat of my car on purpose,” he says. “I didn’t have enough money to have a hotel or anything, which was fine. I felt like I had made it.”

“We’ll do it together [at Tootsie’s],” Janson says. “It will be the first time together that we’ve been back in there. That’s the wildest thing. If you think about it, I don’t know one other person who has the same exact story as mine and that’s how we bonded in the parking lot over taking a picture. He tried to do it there and I tried to it there and they gave me a gig there. I was a tip jar guy.”

Johnson picks up on his friend’s story, recounting how Janson auditioned at Tootie’s at 10 a.m. and got the gig, but that his try-out didn’t go so well. “What’s full circle for me is I went in [to Tootsie’s], it was in the afternoon, I was told ‘No, you can’t. Get out.’ Eight years later, I returned back to Nashville to the fairgrounds where I was a pro wrestler making 40 bucks a match.”

Though the two friends haven’t tried writing songs together, Johnson says he would love to, and Janson is eager to give it a try, too. “He’s one of the most talented guys I know, on and off stage, and I would absolutely be honored to write a song with him,” Janson says. “We’re all about what happens naturally so the answer I would give, and I’m sure he would agree, is that if it happens naturally, great. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too. We’re still friends.” As if on cue, prompted by Janson stressing doing what happens naturally, Johnson bursts into the Buck Owens and the Buckaroos’ 1963 hit, “Act Naturally,” grinning as he sings, “They’re gonna put me in the movies.”

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