Ellen DeGeneres gets the actor to confront his fear of spiders on the air

By Tim Nudd
Updated November 15, 2007 01:30 PM
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Video courtesy Warner Bros.

Former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known as a pretty tough guy – but there is one thing he’s terrified of: spiders.

But he faced his fear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, when the host surprised (and horrified) Johnson by bringing out a giant tarantula and having him hold it.

“I’m not quite too sure where this [fear] came from. There wasn’t anything that happened in my past,” said Johnson before the arrival of the furry guest. When a handler brought the creature out, Johnson was clearly frightened. “They don’t bite?” he asked, as the spider was placed into his cupped hands.

Johnson, 35, was on safer ground earlier in the program, discussing his separation this year from wife Dany after 10 years of marriage. They remain friends, he said, and committed to making the transition smooth for their young daughter Simone.

DeGeneres asked if he had a favorite pickup line now that he’s single. Johnson said he might have to resurrect an old gem he used when he was younger.

“I’d walk up to women and say, “Hey, I’m Dwayne, I’m the tongue wresting champ of the world. Do you want a shot at the title?”

How did that generally go over? “There would be a slap in my face,” he said. “The only appropriate way to react to that.”