Hiram Garcia first met Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson when he was 15 years old and Johnson was dating his sister. While it didn’t work out between the couple, Garcia and Johnson formed a lingering bond and are now producing partners via Seven Bucks Productions. As president of production at Seven Bucks, Garcia has unprecedented access to capture images of his famous friend on and off set. He began putting that access to use when Johnson was filming Baywatch, Fast and Furious 8 and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. “That run of three movies is where my photography really exploded, because I started to embrace it more, not only as a hobby, but as a tool to help drive the narrative for these films we were working on.” Those photos and many others are collected in The Rock: Through the Lens: His Life, His Movies, His World from St. Martin’s Press. Herein: a preview of Garcia’s favorite images from the book, and the stories behind them.
“This was in LA when we were doing additional photography for Hobbs and Shaw. It was right before we were about to start shooting,” Garcia says. “I like to call it the calm before the storm, where he just takes a moment to center himself and thinks about what he’s about to do. I always love those moments when I can see him drowning everything out. We’re on a stage, so there are tons of people around, but he just drowns it all out and focuses on the scene. That’s what this moment was. That was a huge motorcycle that was custom-designed to his style, and it looked badass, man. I love the way that bike came out. It was really cool.”
“This photo was from Jumanji: The Next Level. We were at the top of a mountain in Calgary and I just love the juxtaposition,” Garcia says. “It was really cold. It was hard to find reception. We were setting up the cameras and still had to get some work done. And he was working on his phone checking emails. He just never stops. The scenery was beautiful. I just love the backdrop of him deep into thought and this unbelievable backdrop behind him. It doesn’t matter where you are, there’s always an opportunity to get some work done. It’s one of the things I most admire about him. He may have 200 million social media followers on Instagram alone, but he’s the guy who’s running the Instagram. No matter how big the business or the enterprise he’s working with might be, he’s always going to keep his two hands in there. I think that’s what keeps everything as authentic as it is.”
“This is one of my favorite shots and I’ve always really loved the story behind it,” Garcia says. “When Dwayne first got into the business, there were many people that believed in him, but Stan Lee was one at the forefront. When Dwayne first came to Hollywood, Stan greeted him with open arms and really believed in DJ. He just felt that this guy had something to offer the business. Fast-forward, and now Dwayne is the star he is. We were getting ready to release some never-before-seen footage of Rampage at Stan Lee’s Comic-Con in LA. This was the first time they had seen each other for some time. I know DJ well and I love in this shot that it’s so clear how humbled he is because Stan is just heaping praise onto him. He was telling him how proud he was of him and how he always knew that this is what he was meant to do. I think you see the warmth between them had come full circle.”
“This was during a time when DJ was coming back to the WWE and we were setting up rings so he could train to get back into shape as he was starting to work with John Cena at the time,” Garcia says. “So Simone, his daughter, this was her just wanting to just get a little time with him and learn. Even at a young age, she just wanted him to teach her some stuff. He was teaching her how to do a headbutt with flare. It was just a cool moment. He had already had his ring time with some of the guys that he was going through the paces with And she had been waiting her turn. You could tell she’s a great athlete, just like dad. It’s been a while since we’ve been around a wrestling ring, but during those days when he was ramping up for matches with John and CM Punk and so forth, she would pop up whenever she could.”
“This was the first time DJ and Danny DeVito met in person for Jumanji: The Next Level. Danny DeVito is one of the all-time greats. He’s been in everything, he’s done it all. Then when you meet him, he lives up to it. He does not disappoint,” Garcia says. “There was a time where we were flying somewhere and Danny was just telling me the stories. He goes, ‘You can put 100 people into a room and put me in the room and just make it all a silhouette. Everyone’s instantly going to know who I am. And DJ’s like that too.’ To that testament, as they were walking down the hall, I remember being behind them and being like, ‘Oh my God, will you look at this? How crazy is this imagery right here?’ I was happy I was able to grab a shot real quick, not only because did it signify the first time they had met, but I also thought it was two of the most iconic silhouettes in Hollywood. And to have them paired next to each other just felt like a really cool moment.”
“This is also from Hobbs and Shaw and we were in London. These are two of the toughest action stars in the business,” Garcia says “I like this moment because this was right after they nailed a take and were just having a laugh. They had done a bunch of takes and finally nailed the scene and it was just the celebration of the moment. When you craft a fight scene for these guys, it’s like a dance. They’ve done thousands of fight sequences and each in their own style. It’s a beautiful form of conversation that just doesn’t involve words. To watch it happen in real-time, it’s just a lot of fun. I like that you see the joy in these two guys. They have great chemistry. This moment captures a little glimpse of what you typically don’t get to see. On film, they’re always looking at each other with very serious scowls. So I like to peel the curtain back a little bit and give a little glimpse of the fun.”