Dwayne Johnson‘s life was “changed” by a handshake.
The Furious 7 star admits he turned over a new leaf when he found himself confronted by a teacher for using the staff bathroom as a young boy.
Recalling the conversation, he said: “A teacher comes in. His name is Jody Cwik. Tough guy. He says, ‘Hey. You can’t be in here.’ I kind of pause, look over my shoulder. ‘OK. I’ll leave when I’m done.’ And I continued to wash my hands.
“I felt bad [afterwards … So the next day] I said, ‘I just want to apologize for how I acted yesterday. And I’m sorry.’ And I stuck my hand out. He looked at my hand, looked at me, looked at my hand again. And he shook my hand. I’ll never forget that shake. He wouldn’t let it go.”
The actor, 43, grew close to Mr. Cwik, the school’s football coach and admits things started to turn around for him once he was accepted onto the team.
Speaking on Oprah’s Master Class, he added: “My grades got better, and I started getting recruited from every college across the country. My thought process started to change. That’s when I started thinking about goals and what I wanted to accomplish.
“I love that man. I’ll never forget the impact that he had on my life. My takeaway from that amazing relationship that I had was the empathy that he had for a punk kid who treated him so rudely and disrespectfully. He looked past that BS and said, ‘I believe in you and I want to turn you around.'”