""I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone," Johnson revealed in Oprah's Master Class special.

By Karen Mizoguchi
Updated December 01, 2020 10:03 PM

Years before he found much success in the entertainment business, Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson was at a career crossroads.

At 23, Johnson found himself living in his parent’s small apartment after failing to make it into the NFL and being cut from the Canadian Football League. His aspirations of being a professional football athlete were crushed, leading to a battle with depression.

Now twenty years later at age 43, the star has put a positive spin on his dark days.

“I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it,” the Ballers actor revealed in his Oprah’s Master Class special.

“I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], ‘Hey, it’s going to be okay.'”

Johnson remembered receiving a call from the head coach of the team that let him go about a month and a half later. He was asked to return to the Calgary Stampeders but it was then that he made a career-defining moment.

“I hung up the phone, and my dad said, ‘You’re going to do it, right?'” Johnson recalled. “I said, ‘No I don’t think so. I think I’m done with that. My gut tells me I’m done.'”

He then decided to follow in father Rocky’s footsteps and go into the family business of professional wrestling.

“He said, ‘You are throwing it all away. It is the worst mistake you will ever make,'” Dwayne said of his father’s initial hesitation. “I said, ‘Maybe I’ll be no good, but I feel like, in my heart, I have to do this.'” After retiring in 1991, Rocky began training his son, who eventually found massive stardom in professional wrestling as “The Rock.”

And the rest is history! Johnson was named 2013’s Top-Earning Movie Star by Forbes, and is now expecting a daughter with girlfriend Lauren Hashian.

Also in the Master Class special, the Moana star gushed about being a father to teenage daughter Simone.