Dwayne Johnson appears at CinemaCon 2024 to promote 'Moana'

What Do Dwayne Johnson and Amazon Drivers Have in Common?

A new report detailing problems on the set of Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming holiday blockbuster Red One helps explain why the actor shied away from endorsing Joe Biden in the 2024 election—and reveals the surprising thing Johnson has in common with Amazon delivery drivers.

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According to The Wrap, Amazon MGM’s action-packed holiday film Red One—about a muscular elf who teams up with a bounty hunter to rescue a kidnapped Santa Claus—wasn’t delayed due to last year’s labor strikes, as the studio claimed. The report cites inexperienced producers and Dwayne Johnson’s “chronic lateness and lack of professionalism” for problems on set that led to an inflated budget of $250 million on the film, which co-stars Chris Evans and J.K. Simmons.

The most eyebrow-raising detail, however, relates to Johnson’s bathroom habits on movie sets:

Insiders told TheWrap that Johnson showed up as much as eight hours late to set on the movie — forcing the crew to shoot around him on some days. On previous films, Johnson has made a habit of peeing in a water bottle to save time, upsetting crew members.

“On set, away from his trailer, if he needs to pee, he doesn’t go to the public bathroom,” said one insider who knows the movie star well. “He pees in a Voss water bottle and his team or a PA has to dispose of it.”

Who amongst us hasn’t been compelled to pee in a typically inappropriate manner when lacking access to a conventional toilet? It happens. But unlike the delivery drivers employed by Amazon MGM’s parent company, Johnson isn’t peeing in bottles out of necessity. (Voss bottles, no less. I guess that makes it classier, and possibly more eco-conscious if it’s the glass bottles—I digress.) As described by The Wrap‘s sources, Johnson is peeing in bottles to “save time,” which is even more absurd considering that so much of the report is devoted to the actor’s “chronic lateness.”

Johnson has made a name for himself in Hollywood as a hardworking professional who relies on a strictly regimented schedule to fulfill his work obligations and maintain his muscular physique. Similar to Mark Wahlberg, Johnson’s typical routine is deeply un-sane; he wakes up at 3:30 in the morning and usually works out for three hours a day. But according to The Wrap, despite his public reputation, Johnson has a long history of showing up several hours late to set, whether it’s for his HBO series Ballers, a WWE appearance, or a blockbuster movie like Red One. Several sources refuted claims of Johnson showing up late to set, but at least one crew member noted that if it weren’t for Johnson’s tardiness, they wouldn’t have worked enough hours to qualify for health insurance through their guild. (Maybe Johnson should seize on this detail to promote better working conditions on sets. “I wouldn’t have to be late every day if studios treated their workers more fairly!”)

Reading The Wrap‘s report, it’s clear why Johnson recently refused to endorse Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election. At the time, Johnson told Fox News that his 2020 endorsement of Biden caused “an incredible amount of division” and that he’d prefer not to use his “level of influence” to sway voters. (Kind of funny to imagine the immense guilt Dwayne Johnson must feel for causing January 6.) It always seemed more likely that Johnson was making a shrewd business decision, a hunch validated by The Wrap‘s reporting. If you were the big, expensive star of a big, expensive holiday blockbuster aimed at families, and you were also (allegedly) a significant reason why said blockbuster was delayed almost a year (to November, in an election year), you might also do everything in your power to ensure the movie made enough money to justify whatever BS happened on set—including refusing to endorse a presidential candidate, lest you alienate potential moviegoers.

Dwayne Johnson simply cannot afford to endorse a president, just as he cannot afford to take five minutes out of a shooting day to pee in an actual toilet.

(featured image: Jerod Harris, Getty Images for CinemaCon)


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.