WARNING: Some language in the following report may be offensive to some readers.)
When Dwayne Johnson meets you (and I can assure you, he would love to), the first thing he will do is ask you six thousand questions about yourself, and remember the answers forever. If you are a child, good luck getting past Dwayne Johnson without a high five or some simulated roughhousing; if you’re in a wheelchair, prepare for a Beowulf-style epic poem about your deeds and bravery, composed extemporaneously, delivered to Johnson’s Instagram audience of 85 million people; if you’re dead, having shuffled off your mortal coil before you even got the chance to meet Dwayne Johnson, that sucks—rest in peace knowing that Dwayne Johnson genuinely misses you. For Johnson, there are no strangers; there are simply best friends, and best friends he hasn’t met yet. I’ve known the man for only two hours—and have been in his car now for only a few minutes, listening to the Dixie Chicks, headed to what he’s luxuriously described to me as his “private gym”—and already it’s apparent that I am Dwayne Johnson’s greatest friend in the entire world.
One of the first things he’d needed to know about me was if I’d ever been to Australia. I haven’t, I told him, and he beamed and shook his head. “You’d love it,” he declared. A puzzled pause hung in the air while I frantically tried to deduce what about my bearing projects that I would love Australia, and Johnson remembered that he didn’t actually know anything about me (yet), except that I’d never been to Australia. Which made him want to learn everything. Among the many, many things Dwayne Johnson wondered: what high school I went to, if I’d ever been to the Oscars, how I chose my college, if I had “a big party” when I graduated from that college, what my sleep schedule is like, if I believe in ghosts, if I needed a ladder to access a tree house I visited one time, if my dad is black—wait, what?