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Inspired by true events, ‘Snitch’ stars Dwayne Johnson as a father whose teenage son is wrongly accused of a drug distribution crime and is looking at a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Desperate and determined to rescue his son at all costs, he makes a deal with the U.S. Attorney to work as an undercover informant and infiltrate a drug cartel on a dangerous mission- risking everything, including his family and his own life. Alongside Johnson, the impressive cast also includes the likes of Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal, Michael K. Williams, Melina Kanakaredes, Nadine Velazquez, Rafi Gavron, David Harbour, Benjamin Bratt and Susan Sarandon. ‘Snitch’ is pencilled in for a Febuary 22th release in the US and a April 5th release in the UK.

What were the elements about this story that sparked your interest?

Dwayne Johnson: I think it feels authentically “hard”, and it has a grounded sense of gritty reality. It has great action elements, but then you have a man who discovers he has the heart of a lion – and it doesn’t start off that way. He has a very fractured relationship with his son. He has an ex-wife, he has a new wife, he has a daughter, and he puts all of that in jeopardy by trying to infiltrate a drug cartel, a very dangerous drug cartel. Plus, ‘Snitch’ is based off true events, so a lot of those elements made it very intriguing to me. I loved the characters as well, it was written very well. I really liked my character John, he’s a hard working guy. He believes in the thought process of hard work pays.

With it being inspired by true events, was that something that spoke to you….?

Dwayne Johnson: Yeah. I think like a lot of people who love movies, I’m always very intrigued by something that’s inspired by true events, or based off of a true story. In this case the circumstances were just so incredible that this man, not a streetwise guy, a regular everyday guy, a family man, he has no drug affiliates or gang affiliates… but yet, his son gets a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years for a drug offence – and he’s a very non-violent first time offender. So the father strikes this incredible deal with the US attorney, saying that he’s going to infiltrate a drug cartel down in Mexico. The notion of a man doing that is incredible to me, but then not only that he’s putting so much at risk – plus the fact that he’s probably not coming back if he does this, he’s probably going to die by doing this. That’s really amazing, the story moved me. The fact that there’s a man out there that did this moved me, and it also sparks great dialogue about what we would do for our family.

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As a family man yourself,  I can imagine you used that experience to help inform or tap into when playing this character?

Dwayne Johnson: Yeah. It was very easy, there was a direct connection between this character John and myself. The bottom line is I would do anything to protect my child, and I would do anything to protect your child – if you have a child (laughs). It’s what we do as adults. So the fact that this guy did it, it’s even more impressive. I was very fortunate to have ‘Snitch’ come my way and we were able to put it on its feet and show it to the world. But that element of doing anything for my child definitely helped inform the character, I could tap into that for sure.

With director Ric Roman Waugh having a background in stunts, how was that experience? I can imagine he really knows how to get busy with that element of filmmaking…

Dwayne Johnson: (Laughs) Definitely. Ric’s amazing, he’s an incredibly articulate, intelligent writer and director, and on paper he’s a former stuntman, he comes from a very famous stunt family in Hollywood. And he was not only able to bring the grittiness and the drama and the weight and the emotions to the movie, but also with him being a former stuntman he definitely tapped into that to make sure the action was going to be real and bad-ass (laughs), to match the story. And by that he literally strapped himself to the front of my 18 wheeler, and I went down the highway at 70/80mph, and he was operating the camera strapped to the front of the 18 wheeler (laughs). I’d never seen anything like that. Like a lot of directors he’s very passionate and he got right in there. But to be a stuntman, I think you have to be a little crazy (laughs). But I love that man, he’s great.

Look out for a more in-depth interview with Dwayne Johnson for ‘Snitch’ next week.

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