Tanoai Reed (L) and Dwayne Johnson (R), both in 2007
Photo: Charley Gallay /Jon Kopaloff (Getty Images)

This may not be news for the specific subset of readers who are deeply plugged in to the stunt-double community‚ÄĒwhich, according to the laws of the internet, someone out there must be‚ÄĒbut hopefully the rest of you will be as delighted as we were to discover that Tanoai Reed, Dwayne ‚ÄúThe Rock‚ÄĚ Johnson‚Äôs stuntman of more than 15 years, is also Johnson‚Äôs distant cousin.

This news is detailed in an extended profile published today in Mel Magazine, where Reed recalls being chased down by a stunt coordinator at Universal Studios, where he had been working as a day laborer, and asked: ‚ÄúDude, we‚Äôre doing this movie called The Scorpion King. The Rock‚Äôs in it. We need a stunt double. Can you come to the office real quick?‚ÄĚ A white stuntman had been standing in for Johnson up until that point, until the laborious process of painting the man to match Johnson‚Äôs skin tone every day became too much for the production. Reed was hired on the spot.


Serendipitously enough, when the two met, they discovered through some on-set small talk that they were related through their great-grandfathers. (Or, at least, Johnson discovered it‚ÄĒReed was already very aware of Johnson, who comes from a famous Samoan pro-wrestling clan, and their extended family connection.) They‚Äôve been working together since, with Reed taking risks and sustaining injuries on behalf of his more famous cousin: Last year alone, he broke his wrist on the set of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and his heel on the set of Rampage.

Still, Reed credits his work as a stuntman with lifting him out of a troubled and transient adolescence, not to mention introducing him to his wife, who‚Äôs also a professional stunt double. And as Reed puts it, ‚ÄúDJ gives me credit more than any other actor gives his stunt man ... He‚Äôs always been like, ‚ÄėWhen it comes to the gnarly stuff, things where I can get hurt, my cousin Tanoai does it all.‚Äô I‚Äôll be reading a random article about a movie and bang‚Ää‚ÄĒ‚Äämy name‚Äôs in there. He‚Äôs that kind of guy.‚ÄĚ