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Dwayne Johnson says new film Hercules was 'most physically challenging role' of his career

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Dwayne Johnson shot to fame as wrestling star The Rock –  and the muscle-bound actor had to take his fitness to the next level for his new film Hercules, in which he stars.

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Dwayne Johnson Hercules

Dwayne Johnson was joined by his fellow cast members at the London preview

"It was the most physically challenging and most demanding role I’ve ever played," he admitted at the film's London preview. "I wanted to transform my body, and luckily I had a great diet coach and strength trainer." 

"The most challenging part is that we shot for months in the heat of Budapest, so you get your body to a certain peak," he added. "Then you need to keep it at that level for months, because everything has to match from day one to day 95."

For the 42-year-old, playing Hercules has always been a lifelong dream. "I grew up loving and admiring Hercules," he said. "Hercules was the very first movie I inquired about when I first got to Hollywood, and at that time I didn't have the backing. Now it's come round, I'm so grateful for the role."

"When it came to who would play Hercules, Dwayne came to my house," revealed the film's director Brett Ratner. "He looked me in the eye and said, "I was born to play this role." When Dwayne Johnson looks you in the eye and says that, you believe him!"

Dwayne revealed that he felt pressure to do justice to the 'iconic' character. "You only get one shot at playing Hercules," he said. "Especially if you want to make him iconic."

Hercules - The Cast Come To London

Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ film Hercules will be out in cinemas on 25 July.