After a Difficult Shoot for 'Ballers,' The Rock Opens Up About His Mom's Suicide Attempt


Professional wrestler turned actor and producer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a legend for many reasons — but his best moments, in our opinion, are when he’s open about his mental health.

In 2015, he opened up about struggling with depression on Oprah’s “Master Class” series, and last week, started a mental health conversation again by posting about a difficult childhood memory he had to face while shooting the comedy “Ballers.” A photo he posted on Instagram shows him standing in front of a grave holding a beer.

Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my character’s brother, William who committed suicide. Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another. My mom tried to check out when I was 15. She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic. Big rigs and cars swerving outta the way not to hit her. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t. Shits of a scene to shoot – didn’t like it – but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

He wrote:

Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my character’s brother, William who committed suicide.

Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another.

He revealed his mom had attempted suicide when he was 15. While this childhood memory made the “Ballers” scene a tough one to shoot, it did encourage him to share some words about suicide prevention:

Shits of a scene to shoot – didn’t like it – but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone.
We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case

Some took to the comments to share their own story. One user wrote, “I truly appreciate this post, man. I’ve lost a few too many friends to this tragic circumstance.” Another, “Thank you for this. I attempted suicide about 7 years ago and still struggle with depression. Thank you for helping to remind people they aren’t alone and shine a light on something a lot of people would like to keep in the dark.”

Men die by suicide 3.57 time more often than women — and we desperately need more men to speak out about their experiences. Thanks to Johnson for starting that conversation.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Lead image via The Rock’s Instagram


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.