Dwayne Johnson’s fans might be taken aback by his unusual aspiration to portray a “16-year-old self-obsessed girl” in the highly popular “Jumanji” films. Despite this unexpected choice, the franchise has achieved monumental success, raking in a remarkable $2.08 billion in global box office earnings.
Johnson, famous for his movies and magnetic screen presence, has established himself as an A-list actor in the entertainment industry. From his earlier success in action-packed films like “The Mummy Returns” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” to his triumphs in “San Andreas” and the “Fast and Furious” franchise, Johnson has consistently delivered powerhouse performances.
Recently, he revealed that if given the opportunity, he would have loved to play Jack Black’s character, Bethany, in the highly successful “Jumanji” franchise. Johnson expressed his admiration for the fun Jack Black had while donning the persona of a “self-obsessed teenage girl,” stating, “I know how much fun [Jack] had every day playing a 16-year-old self-obsessed girl.”
In the “Jumanji” films, Johnson portrays the role of Dr. Xander Bravestone, a strong and confident archaeologist who serves as the avatar for Spencer, one of the film’s main characters. However, it was Jack Black who brought the character of Bethany to life, a teenage girl trapped in the body of one Professor Shelly Oberon.
Black’s portrayal of a self-obsessed girl offered a comedic twist to the storyline. His performance in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” was highly praised, as he seemed to seamlessly capture the essence and mannerisms of a teenage girl.
Black humorously admitted that he wasn’t acting in a scene of the film where the character was infatuated with Johnson’s character, as per Fandomwire. He cheekily expressed that he was obsessed with Johnson, and the cameras just kept recording their natural interactions.
Black shared that he had a lot of fun playing Bethany. In one scene in the film, his character teaches Karen Gillan’s character how to flirt. “I was teaching her how to flirt and how to work it, runway style. It was like a living organism kind of scene where some of it was on the page, but a lot was just happening in real-time.
Explaining the preparation for his role, Black humorously shared that immersing himself in the world of teen culture was important. “You watch a few episodes of ‘Teen Wolf.’ And you also listen to some John Mayer. Then you really start to feel it,” he said.
The decision to entrust the role of a self-obsessed teenage girl to Jack Black was undoubtedly a risk for the director, Jake Kasdan. It required the actor to navigate uncharted territory, both in terms of his on-screen portrayal and the response it would generate from audiences. However, the risk paid off, as the character was widely appreciated and loved by fans worldwide.