By Lisa Petrillo


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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With a flood of flashes and a megawatt smile, one of Hollywood’s brightest stars walked the carpet at The New World Symphony on Miami Beach Thursday night.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, along with the cast of his HBO series “Ballers” on hand, was in town to celebrate its upcoming second season.

In Ballers, Johnson plays Spencer Strassmore, a former football superstar who mentors players through the daily grind of the business of football. It’s something The Rock knows quite well since he himself played for the University of Miami.

The entire show is shot on location here in Dwayne’s hometown.

“That was the bait that got me, because sometimes we shoot in Australia and in crazy locations. But HBO said if you like the script, we’ll set it in Miami and you can sleep in your own bed!” Johnson said.

With 59 million followers on Instagram and slew of hit movies under his belt, this road to success has been somewhat of a fairy tale for the 44-year-old actor.

His humble beginnings led him to name his production company “7 Bucks Productions.” That’s the amount of money he had his in his pocket early on in his career.

This week, Forbes Magazine named him the highest paid actor. Now that’s a “Herculean” accomplishment!

“Waffle House on me!! That’s how I roll!” joked Dwayne. “It’s a really cool thing because I started down here in Miami/ We won a National Championship, but I wanted to make it in the NFL but that didn’t happen. I had so many ups and downs, I felt like those life lessons I took me with throughout Hollywood and my career.”

And all of his fellow actors on Ballers could not be more supportive of this former wrestler turned Hollywood A-Lister who gives so much to so many.

“The thing I respect about Dwayne is that he never forgot his journey… the name of his production company reminds him of that. And as long as you can do that you can reach the highest heights which is exactly what he has done,” said actor Dulé Hill.

Season 2 of Ballers kicks off on HBO Sunday night at 8 p.m.

Lisa Petrillo

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