“I want to share a really quick lesson with you guys, I’ve learned the most powerful thing we can be is ourselves.”
In Johnson’s speech, the actor and producer explained the importance of self-love and remaining steadfast, being true to who we are as individuals.
“The most powerful thing that we can be is ourselves. I love what Zachary was saying because that’s us. We were always that little kid. We’re still that little kid. Right – just aspiring to be something better. Aspiring to be important.”
“When I first got to Hollywood – Hollywood, they didn’t know what the hell to do with me. I mean, I was this half-black, half-Samoan and six foot four, 275-pound pro wrestler. You know; I was told at that time, well, you got to be a certain way. You got to drop some weight. You’ve got to be somebody different. You got to stop working out. Stop doing the things that I love. You got to stop calling yourself ‘The Rock.’ What?!”
He continued: “And for years I actually bought into it because you think, ‘Oh, that’s what that’s what I’m supposed to do.’ And I was miserable doing that. So I made a choice. And the choice was I wasn’t going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was going to conform to me. So, Hollywood conformed to me and here I am with all of you getting the Generation Award. Holy shit,” Johnson said as the audience erupted.
He ended with: “When I was 15, I heard a quote and I’ll never forget it, “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.”
The Icon Generation Award celebrates actors whose contributions to film and television have had a positive impact on society. Past recipients include Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pratt, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Bullock, Jamie Foxx, Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Tom Cruise, and Jim Carrey.