The Rock Celebrates Birthday, Recalls Being Asked If He Was a Girl Growing Up

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2021

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2019 file photo, actor Dwayne Johnson poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Jumanji The Next Level', in central London.   Johnson will revisit his younger years in a new NBC comedy series called “The Rock,” which is the retired pro wrestler's nickname. NBC said Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020  that it's ordered 11 episodes of the show inspired by Johnson, who will appear and also serve as an executive producer.  (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Joel C Ryan/Associated Press

If you were to compile the quintessential athletic male physiques, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would probably make an appearance fairly high up the list. 

But that wasn't always the case. Johnson, who turned 49 on Sunday, told Today's Willie Geist that he was often mistaken for a girl growing up, including the first day of school in fifth grade. 

"I sit down next to a kid, and within 60 seconds, he goes, 'Can I ask you something?'" he told Willie. "I said, 'Yeah.' He goes, 'Are you a boy or a girl?'"

He added: "I would say between the ages of seven and 11, people thought that I was a little girl because I had really soft features and I had really soft Afro hair."

It's hard to imagine that happening now. But the former WWE wrestler and current actor is having fun exploring that and other childhood moments in his NBC sitcom, Young Rock.