Big “Moana” news: Maui was modeled after The Rock’s *actual* grandfather

We loved Moana, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s part in the Disney film is just one of many reasons why. Not to mention, we love how much Moana meant to The Rock as a way to represent his culture — and his family.

Apparently, Moana is more meaningful to The Rock than we realized.

Because his character, Maui, was inspired by The Rock’s grandfather. And we’re so into this family connection. It was actually a fan who spotted the uncanny resemblance between The Rock’s real-life grandfather and Maui.

The fan tweeted the side-by-side at The Rock, prompting this response:

"a lil’ @Disney gem of a secret, my character Maui was partly inspired by my late grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia of Samoa. #grateful"

But actually, talk about a GEM.

In a 2016 interview with ABC News, The Rock said that his grandfather resembled his character, and described his grandfather like so…

“He was a Samoan high chief who had high chief tattoos all over his body.

Sounds somewhat familiar…

We *DEFINITELY* see the resemblance.

The IRL Maui (The Rock’s grandfather) was actually a wrestler, who moved to the U.S. from New Zealand in the 1960s. He was part of the WWE, and won multiple championships on the West Coast. Not only that, but he was an actor on occasion, who appeared in the Bond series’ You Only Live Twice.

An actor and a top-notch athlete? Seems like brains, brawn, and — let’s be honest — beauty definitely run in this amazing family.

Moana is streaming on Netflix now. Watch it while you can!

Filed Under