Dwayne Johnson opens up to Oprah Winfrey about grieving his late dad: 'I felt so grateful and moved'

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson spoke with Oprah Winfrey about his father's recent death. (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Oprah)

Oprah Winfrey is currently traveling the country on her 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour, an arena tour that features the talk show guru in conversation with celebrities like Amy Schumer, Michelle Obama and most recently (and notably, the only man she’s interviewing) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. For followers of The Rock’s Instagram account, it will come as no surprise that his conversation with Winfrey was candid, charming and inspirational.

The interview began with questions about Johnson’s father, the former WWE wrestler Rocky Johnson, who died earlier this month at the age of 75; Johnson shared with Winfrey how that “complicated” relationship has affected him throughout his life, and especially now that his father is gone.

Johnson says his father raised him with "tough love," telling the Atlanta audience that his dad was "not an 'I love you guy.'" And while he’s grappled with regret over words unspoken, the actor said he was surprised that even after his father’s death he felt their relationship to still be present.

“The day he died, that night I went to bed, I felt so grateful and moved. Because I realized, ‘Oh wow, I have a new relationship with you. Clean slate. No regrets. No pain. No complications. Just me and you,’" Johnson said.

Winfrey and Johnson also shared a toast with tequila from the former pro wrestler’s new tequila company, Teremana.

“I would like to make a toast to your father,” Winfrey said, raising her glass. “I would like to make a toast to the man that helped make you the man that you are. May your relationship with him in the beyond be stronger, more profound, and bring you all the love that you’ve always deserved.”

A father to three daughters, Johnson said his dynamic with his father strongly impacted his relationship with his own children.

“My dad loved me with the small capacity with which he was capable of. With my daughters, I want to be as full and and as present as I can. I want my daughters to know I love them truly unconditionally. As I told my 18-year-old daughter, Simone, 'I love you. I'm going to tell you I love you every day.' But I also told her, 'I'm unattached. You don't have to text me back. It's without condition.’”

After the hour-long conversation, Johnson thanked the audience for listening. “I want you to know, especially this week, laying my dad to rest, needed this from you. I needed this love. When you come to this room and you have 12,000 people with one intention, which is to be better and give love, it’s a powerful thing. So thank you. Truly,” he said.

Two days after his father passed away, Johnson honored him on Instagram writing, “You lived a very full, very hard, barrier-breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you Dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son.”

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