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After saving his two-year-old brother from drowning in a pool by performing chest compressions he learned watching the movie San Andreas, 10-year-old Jacob O’Connor finally got to meet his hero (and the movie’s star) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Johnson had Jacob, his mother, and his brother Gavin flown out to Vancouver to spend the day with him on the set of his next movie, Skyscraper, where they enjoyed some VIP treatment (and unlimited craft services). While the kids were admittedly “super nervous and shy” around the star, it’s clear Johnson had the time of his life.
He shared a photo of himself in a grease and blood-stained shirt, reaching out for a hug from a smiling O’Connor. “Ladies and gentlemen, I finally met this real life 10 yr old hero,” Johnson wrote in an Instagram caption. “I said… when I meet heroic kids, I give hugs… now get in here. Despite the fact I looked like 9 ways of hell, battered and bloodied from my scenes, Jacob reluctantly gave me a hug.”
Johnson posted pictures of the boys throughout the afternoon.
“When kids visit my movie sets, it’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory,” he wrote. “Because children get to eat all the chocolate and sweets they want and the best part is…IT’S ALL FREE. Well someone has to pay for it, but it ain’t me or the kids lol.”
He ended the day with a video, showcasing a tee shirt Jacob made himself. The front features the former wrestler’s signature bull logo, and on the back, a deep-cut Instagram photo of Johnson holding his puppies poolside after having to rescue them both from drowning—yet another time the actor unknowingly raised CPR awareness for his young fan.
Jacob was super nervous and shy the whole time we hung out, so it was fun getting him to laugh and talk. He threw me for an unexpected spin when he showed up on set wearing a shirt that he proudly made with my bull insignia on the front and on the back was the picture of me holding our two puppies, Brutus and Hobbs, after I rescued them from our pool. Seeing that picture on this boy's shirt, got me in the gut. Eventually, we would lose Brutus to heaven, but it wasn't the picture of Brutus that made me tear up, it was the fact that this 10yr old kid, had a heart big enough to put our puppies on his shirt after he saved his little 2yr old brother's life. What a special day. What a special kid. Thanks Jacob for being awesome and for being the kind of person we all aspire to be. ~ DJ
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“What a special day. What a special kid,” Johnson concluded.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.