After Dwayne Johnson’s Stunt Double Arrived On Set, The Actor Gave Him A Gift That Left Him In Tears

Movie star Dwayne Johnson may be an absolute powerhouse, but he doesn’t actually do all his stunts. Those are left to a stuntman, who just happens to be someone the actor knows very well. So, on the set of one of his movies, the ex-wrestler decided to give that man a gift. And the moment proved to be such a touching one that the stunt double was brought to tears.

There’s no one in Hollywood quite like Dwayne Johnson – not least because of how he first shot to fame. You see, before becoming an actor, he had a successful career in wrestling under the name “The Rock” – a moniker by which he’s still known. And while making the transition from wrestling to becoming a credible actor is arguably a difficult feat, Johnson pulled it off magnificently.

The former WWE star’s first big movie role was as the title character in 2002’s The Scorpion King. Perhaps thanks to his popularity, he received over $5 million for appearing – despite being an untested actor. And it was on the set of that movie that the star met a man who would help form the course of the rest of his life.

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That individual was Johnson’s stunt double on The Scorpion King: a guy named Tanoai Reed. And the first meeting between him and Johnson nearly didn’t happen, as Reed had stepped in at the last minute to replace another man, who had a similar shape to the star but wasn’t Samoan. Reed was of Samoan decent, however, and also looked eerily like the man he was doubling for. But it turned out that there was a good reason for the resemblance to Johnson: Reed and the actor were distantly related cousins.

Yet while Reed had always known that he and Johnson were related, the star himself had had no idea until they got talking. Johnson came from a famous wrestling family that had members the world over, and Reed was one of them; specifically, the pair’s respective great-grandfathers were cousins.

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Then, as Johnson won more and more movie roles and his fame continued to grow, Reed was right there by his side. And it turns out that Reed’s wife Suzanne is also a stunt double. In fact, she popped up in The Scorpion King as well – so it was very much a family affair.

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However, stunt performing is probably the most dangerous job in the entire film industry; sadly, there’s a long list of doubles who were killed or seriously injured on set. Stuntman John Bernecker died after falling while filming an episode of the hit series The Walking Dead, for example. And actor Daniel Radcliffe’s double, David Holmes, became paralyzed after a stunt went wrong in a Harry Potter movie.

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Furthermore, the danger is very real whenever Reed doubles for Johnson. Indeed, Reed has suffered numerous injuries on movie sets. For instance, while filming Rampage, the stuntman suffered a 30-foot fall and broke his heel on landing. Even worse, his wife and son were there to see it. Meanwhile, during shooting for The Rundown, Reed broke his leg; on Jumanji, he also fractured his wrist.

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But Reed’s worst injury came on the set of Furious 7, an entry in the popular The Fast and the Furious franchise. There, a large piece of glass broke a bone in his arm. “It severed everything — nerves, muscles, everything,” Reed told MEL magazine in April 2018. “It was open to the bone, like a shark bite. I couldn’t move my fingers. I almost lost my arm.”

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So, Reed’s suffered a lot for his art – all in the service of making Johnson’s movies as good as they can possibly be. And the movie star wasn’t about to let that go unnoticed or unrewarded. In July 2018, then, the actor posted a video on his Instagram account that showed him giving Reed a well-deserved present.

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And the gift was a generous one, too, as Johnson had bought his relative a truck. As seen in the video, however, he tricked Reed into thinking they were doing an interview together before presenting him with the vehicle. “He’s been an incredible partner and brother to me,” Johnson said during the occasion. “I wanna say I love you, I thank you, and enjoy your new truck.” Meanwhile, Reed was moved to tears by the gesture.

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And in the video caption, Johnson went into more detail about the reason for the gift. “Over the course of my career, my stunt double (and cousin) Tanoai Reed has broken multiple bones, severed tendons, torn ligaments and just been an overall badass, achieving several ‘Stuntman of the Year’ honors,” he wrote. “All done with one goal in mind: deliver the best movie possible to the world.”

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Johnson continued, “I had this custom pick-up truck delivered just in time to surprise him (he’s still recovering from a stunt injury) while we give what he thought was going to be an interview about our careers together. As you’ll see, the moment I put my hands on my hips, that’s the driver’s cue to pull away and reveal the big surprise.”

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Johnson went on, “Not only does Tanoai represent our family and my career with relentless commitment and passion, [but] he also represents an entire Hollywood stunt community that is truly the backbone of our business.” And Reed was so touched by the gift and the video that he wrote a post about the surprise on his own Instagram page, too.

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Reed said on the social media site, “I’m still in complete shock from the surprise and so very humbled by [Johnson’s] gesture of gratitude. I’m truly blessed with the most amazing brother/boss/friend in [Johnson]. And the amazing team he surrounds himself with has truly become my extended family. Thank you for all of the years of your support and love and for helping put this awesome surprise together!”

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This isn’t the first time that Johnson has given an extravagant gift to a member of his family, though. Over the years, in fact, he’s bought cars for his mother, father and two other cousins. “I really enjoy buying cars and giving [them] to people,” he told Jimmy Kimmel in April 2018. “I’m a big, brown, bald, tattooed Oprah.”

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And it’s perhaps no surprise that Instagram was full of praise for Johnson’s generosity. “What an amazing heart you have, and what an awesome stuntman he is!” one person wrote. “Congrats to both of you for knowing the meaning of family and taking care of each other. Awesome truck!” wrote another.

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Reed plans to use his new truck to drive himself and his wife to watch their son, Samson, play football. And it seems that the stunt performer shares the same generous spirit as his cousin, as he has helped the high school that both he and Samson have attended to renovate their sports facilities.

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Meanwhile, it seems that Johnson and Reed have their partnership down to a fine art. Every time the star earns a part in a movie, he calls his cousin and tells him what he needs. “When we did Hercules, my shirt was off the whole movie, so [Johnson] told me a couple of months ahead of time, ‘We gotta get lean.’ He’ll send me pictures of how he looks, and I try to get into the exact same shape,” the stunt performer told MEL in 2018.

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And Johnson has plenty more big movies coming up – among them a remake of Big Trouble in Little China and the Disney theme park movie Jungle Cruise. But whenever you’re watching a movie starring The Rock, remember that it’s Johnson and Reed’s partnership that makes the magic work.

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