clock menu more-arrow no yes
Illustration of “The Rock” smiling Illustration courtesy of Quirk Books

Filed under:

The Rock only has one real mountain left to conquer

The EGOT is a steep climb

Tres Dean is a culture and comics writer who has been published by GQ, Paste, Syfy, Geek.com, UPROXX, IGN, Looper, and more. In this excerpt from this first book, For Your Consideration: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he explains exactly how the wrestler-turned-actor will snag the greatest achievement in Hollywood history.

The Rock will achieve the EGOT. It is an inevitability. He has won every award from Razzies to Teen Choice Awards. The only honors that have eluded him in 15 years in Hollywood are the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. There was a time when the idea of him winning even one of these seemed unlikely; let’s be honest, critics were hardly making Academy Award predictions after Faster. Yet, years later, Johnson is one of the most resonant and enduring figures in all entertainment. If anyone in the current pop cultural landscape is destined to EGOT (yes, it’s a verb too), it is The Rock.

First, a primer for those unfamiliar with the term: EGOT is an accomplishment achieved when an artist wins an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Though the possibility of winning all four awards has existed for decades, the term EGOT was popularized by the 30 Rock episode “Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001,” in which Tracy Morgan’s character, Tracy Jordan, discovers a necklace that spells EGOT in diamond-studded letters. Said necklace once belonged to Miami Vice star Philip Michael Thomas. Once Jordan discovers what EGOT means, he makes achieving it his career goal. The joke is hilarious — Tracy Jordan is not only not an accomplished actor but also a total buffoon — but it’s even funnier when you learn that it’s not just a bit made for the show. Thomas really coined the term and really wore that necklace. Alas, he has never won any of the four awards.

Fewer than 20 entertainers have managed to EGOT, the most notable of whom are Audrey Hepburn, John Legend, Mel Brooks, and Whoopi Goldberg (yes, Daytime Emmys count). Meryl Streep hasn’t EGOTed. Steven Spielberg wishes he could. Most EGOT winners work primarily in music, which is honored by all four awards.

The possibility of the Rock EGOTing wasn’t on people’s minds until Disney and Pixar’s Moana was released in 2016. The film features The Rock voicing the Polynesian demigod Maui. His performance reveals that he’s got a hell of a set of pipes, which he showcases in “You’re Welcome,” one of the film’s standout songs. As awards season drew near, Moana became a frontrunner in both the animated film and original song categories. Suddenly, it seemed plausible that in all of the infinite timelines drifting through the multiverse, we might be living in one in which The Rock wins an Oscar and a Grammy in the same year.

A different song from the film, “How Far I’ll Go,” received the Oscar nomination for best original song, and it lost to “City of Stars” from La La Land (a movie you’d forgotten existed until you read this sentence). Still, what had been put out into the universe could not be erased. The Rock could EGOT. No, one day the Rock will EGOT. The only question is . . . how?

Intense study of The Rock’s filmography, career trajectory, areas of talent, and the laws of physics indicate a variety of possibilities, some more likely than others. What follows is an analysis of possible ways The Rock could EGOT. Please keep in mind that because these timelines are entirely speculative, if the Rock somehow manages to EGOT for, like, Space Jam 3 or something, the prophecy has still technically been fulfilled.

the rock speaks to a handful of reporters on the side of a football field in ballers Jeff Daly/HBO

Imagine this possibility

The Rock’s show Ballers is the third-highest-rated 30-minute HBO program of all time. It’s also absolutely not winning an Emmy anytime soon. The show is light and fun, decently written, and endearingly performed by Johnson and the rest of the cast. (Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington consistently steals the show.) Ten years ago it might have garnered Emmy nominations alongside Entourage and The New Adventures of Old Christine. However, the comedy genre has since been elevated by shows like Atlanta and Veep. Ballers, which focuses on the lives of elite athletes who thrive on competition, ironically cannot compete.

Still, Rock gotta EGOT. After the show ends, he doesn’t want to surrender his grip on television but also refuses to return unless it’s in a role that could position him for an Emmy. When Big Little Lies director Jean-Marc Vallée needs someone to step in last minute on his new miniseries to play Rooney Mara’s husband (John Slattery is forced to drop out), Johnson takes the job with three weeks’ notice, venturing completely outside his comfort zone. The project, titled Evergreen, explores the complex marriage between a young woman and a man 20 years her senior. The riveting drama shows viewers a side of Johnson they’ve never seen before. The on-set shouting matches between him and Vallée become the stuff of legend, but the result is the best acting of his career. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Later that year he is awarded the Primetime Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie.

Having tasted recognition for his craft, Johnson dives into headier roles than he’s taken on in the past. Previously he had thought there was no adrenaline rush like making his grand entrance as a pro wrestler, but that was before he experienced the split second before the winner of the Emmy was announced. Nothing has ever matched that high. With an Emmy under his belt he begins his quest for the Big O, as he begins publicly referring to the Oscar. Though he still puts out a solid blockbuster film every spring or summer, his fall and winter fare begin catering more to the awards season crowd.

After a couple of duds, including a shockingly disastrous turn as a cancer patient in Marc Webb’s Thrive, he gains traction as an Oscar contender for the first time in director David O. Russell’s satirical dramedy Follow, a heavily fictionalized retelling of the role Twitter played in the 2016 election. Johnson co-stars as the caustic and anxiety-ridden bodyguard of the analogue for Twitter founder Jack Dorsey (played by James Franco). The Academy takes the bait. Later that year the trailer for the final Fast & Furious film advertises “Academy Award Winner Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.”

Shortly afterward he knocks out the Grammy and the Tony in one fell swoop. Johnson originates the role of his grandfather, “High Chief” Peter Maivia, in the musical Squared Circle Dynasty, a musical retelling of his family’s lineage in pro wrestling written by his Moana collaborator Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Hamilton scribe once again produces the show of the year, and Johnson spends a month on Broadway as well as appearing on the original cast recording. The Grammy for best musical theater album and Tony for best performance by a featured actor in a musical follow in short order. The Rock has joined the Legion of EGOT.

The Rock’s other paths to EGOT enlightenment can be found in For Your Consideration: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, out now.