Rock & Roles: Why Dwayne Johnson Won’t Be Stereotyped

SAN ANDREASDwayne “The Rock” Johnson wasn’t a bonafide star overnight. Before becoming a movie star, he was a football player at the University of Miami, where he won a national championship. From there, he went on to play in the Canadian Football League. And then of course, he became one of the most popular wrestlers ever when he joined the WWE.

Johnson wasn’t just content with wrestling, so he turned to acting where he found a lot of success in action movies such as The Fast And The Furious and the GI Joe franchises. Unlike many actors of his stature, he has not stayed in his comfort zone making only action movies. He’s done his share of comedies and dramas. We caught up with Johnson who told us that he just loves the fact that he hasn’t been stereotyped as an action star. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR TO HEAR DWAYNE JOHNSON)

Dwayne Johnson currently stars on the HBO series Ballers airing Sunday nights.

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Kobe Stakes His Claim in Documentary Arena

2With five NBA championship rings in his collection, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. A 16-time league All-Star, he’s been among basketball’s most dominant players ever since he was drafted right out of high school, at age 17. But now, at age 36, it appeared that time has caught up with Bryant, who has sustained several significant injuries in the past few years.

He missed most of this past season due to a serious knee injury, and without him, the Lakers staggered to their worst record ever: 27-55. Before the season started, though, Bryant agreed to let a Showtime film crew follow him around to shoot a documentary. While Kobe Bryant’s Muse did not turn out to be the story of his sixth NBA championship, it did capture all of the struggles, trials and tribulations of a year that was very frustrating for a man who lives to compete.

Bryant not only granted the filmmakers full access to his life, but — as he told us — was also willing to give them creative control over the final product, even if it didn’t always show him in the best light. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kobe Bryant)

Kobe Bryant’s Muse airs this month on Showtime.

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“We Must Go” Spotlights Egypt’s Determined World Cup Quest

We Must Go

With the World Cup in full bloom and worldwide fan support set at a fever pitch, the documentary We Must Go is a perfect complement to one’s soccer obsessed climate. Directed by Dave LaMattina and Chad N. Walker, the project centers on coach Bob Bradley’s determined fight to take the Egyptian National Soccer team to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. If you’re looking for a puff piece on Bradley or a predictable happy ending, We Must Go will turn those expectations on its very head. Diehard soccer fans know Egypt fell short of a World Cup appearance and Bradley is now the coach of Stabaek in Norway.

Winning and losing takes on a different color in Egypt, where politics and soccer are dangerously intertwined. In heartbreaking and even eyed fashion, the documentary also chronicles the Port Said tragedy in which 74 people perished in a soccer match. Dahlia and Yasmine Khouzam, the mother and daughter of one of the individuals killed in the incident, are also interviewed in the documentary.

WE MUST GO“When we came to this film, it was September 2011 when Bob got the job,” said LaMattina. “We (thought) this would be a cool fish out of water story and it was, at that point, just a sports story to us. We never expected that we would include a family who lost a child at a riot at a soccer game”

As much as We Must Go is a story of Bradley’s quest to bring Egypt back to soccer prominence (their last World Cup appearance was in 1990), the project also looks at a country where the fight continues long after the game is over. “What I really love is there are truly intelligent youth out there like Yasmine,” added Walker. “She says in the movie that she’s not talking about revolution or protest. Her journey is that she’s going to become a reporter, and that’s what it’s really going to take – these bright, youthful people, maybe to continue to protest but maybe to get into positions of power where they can make change.”

We Must Go is currently available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

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Gay Athletes: Kurt Warner Looks For a Developing Out Pattern

151Today is a historic day in American sports history. Jason Collins, who plays for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, sat down in an interview with Sports Illustrated and announced that he is gay, making him the first active player in a major American team sport to announce that he is gay.
Collins said, “I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.” Collins had a lot of support from his fellow NBA Players. NBA great Kobe Bryant tweeted “Proud of @jasoncollins34,” the tweet read, “Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU”.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement, “As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career, and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”

Not surprisingly, there have also been ignorant comments, such as that of NFL player Mike Wallace, current Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver, who tweeted, “I’m not bashing anybody don’t have anything against anyone I just don’t understand it…All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH…” He quickly took that down and tweeted a new message saying, “Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don’t understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended.”

Last week, we spoke to former All Pro and Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, who is the host of the USA Network show The Moment. He told us that he has no problem with having gay teammates, and that people should never step in the way of sexual orientation. (Click on the media bar below to hear Kurt Warner).

Do you agree with the former NFL great? We applaud Jason Collins and hope that he will be a role model for others who have dealt with hiding who they are.

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Dwayne Johnson is His Family’s Rock In New Movie ‘Snitch’

111Dwayne Johnson (formerly The Rock) stars in the new film Snitch. This drama is inspired by a documentary about a teenage boy who is wrongfully accused of selling illegal drugs, and is sentenced to prison. In order to save his teenage son, Dwayne Johnson’s character makes a deal with the United States Attorney to go undercover in and infiltrate a drug cartel, acting as a ‘snitch’ to save his family.

Johnson can relate to his character, being that he is a father and would do anything to save his children and family.

Snitch opens in theaters February 22, 2013.

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Boxers Sugar Ray Leonard & Antonio Tarver Recall Olympic Dreams

145The 2012 Summer Olympics is upon us, as the world is tuned in to see the best athletes shine at their respective sport.  Whether or not the participants win a medal, representing one’s country, as well as simply competing in the Olympics, is a distinct honor.

We spoke to former heavyweight world champion and 1996 bronze medalist Antonio Tarver, who said his biggest career achievement was his successful run in the Olympics.  Tarver is also known for his co-starring role in the movie Rocky Balboa. (Click on the media bar to hear Antonio Tarver)

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Boxing icon Sugar Ray Leonard, a gold medalist in the 1976 Olympics, told us it was one of the proudest moments of his life, and it’s that profound experience which shaped his prodigious career.  (Click on the media bar below to hear Sugar Ray Leonard)

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