Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson strongly considering presidential run in 2024: ‘I continue to listen & learn as much as I can’ (EXCLUSIVE)

No, it’s not a publicity stunt. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is actually considering running for President of the United States.

The multi-hyphenate superstar, who landed a star on the Walk of Fame this week and is gearing up for the release of his holiday blockbuster “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” has a jam-packed slate of projects lined up through the next presidential election. Yet Johnson says he would “100% consider” running for office.

“I couldn’t do both,” he admits when asked by Variety about his burgeoning career as a movie star, producer and the businessman behind his company, Seven Bucks Productions, which he co-owns with his longtime manager and ex-wife, Dany Garcia. “Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020, the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024.”

Though Johnson has political ambitions on his mind, he never set out to start a viral guessing game of whether or not he will run for president.

“It all started out of the blue,” Johnson says, bringing up a June 2016 column in the Washington Post, which point-blank stated, “He could actually win.”

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Dwayne The Rock Johnson through the years
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Dwayne The Rock Johnson through the years
The Rock at the 1999 Emmy Awards held in Los Angeles, CA 9/13/99 Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
370782 03: World Wrestling Federation's Wrestler Rock Poses June 12, 2000 In Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo By Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: World Wrestling Federation wrestler 'The Rock' arrives at the Democratic National Convention in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, 16 August, 2000. The convention is on its third day. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 2: House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R) and The Rock, World Wrestling Federation Champion, call the delegation to their seats at the 2000 Republican National Convention at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA, 02 August, 2000. The Republican Party will confer its official blessing on GOP candidate George W. Bush's bid for the White House later 02 August, 2000. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo credit should read STEVE JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
The Rock at MTV Video Music Awards 2000 held at Radio City Music Hall September 7, 2000 Photo byNick Elgar/ImageDirect
390026 24: Actor and professional wrestler 'The Rock' arrives at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards June 2, 2001 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1899 -- Pictured: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during an interview with host Jay Leno on August 23, 2000 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Sean P. Diddy Combs (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
395220 14: Actor Dwayne Johnson, aka 'The Rock' performs a scene from 'The Mummy Returns.' The blockbuster movie was released on DVD and home video on October 2, 2001. (Photo by Keith Hamshere/Universal Studios via Getty Images)
403707 02: Professional wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson poses at the unveiling of his wax portrait at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum April 10, 2002 in New York City. The museum creates life-size, three-dimensional wax sculptures of celebrities and historical figures around the world. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Verne Troyer and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during Nickelodeon's 15th Annual Kids Choice Awards - Backstage at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
LONDON- APRIL 22 : Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson at a photocall to promote his upcoming film 'The Scorpion King' at the Dorchester Hotel on April 22, 2002 in London. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Dwayne The Rock Johnson during Nickelodeon's 16th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2003 - Arrivals at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson & wife Dany during World Premiere of 'The Rundown' at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Action Hero of the Year, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - MARCH 11: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on March 11, 2004 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (Photo by Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage)
Johnny Knoxville and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during 39th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards - Backstage and Audience at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Ron Wolfson/WireImage for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 5: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends the Virgin Cola/MTV Movie Awards after party at the Fame @ XES Club on June 5, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson arrives to the 2005 MTV Movie Awards at the Shrine Auditorium June 4, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. The 14th annual award show will premiere on MTV Thursday, June 9 at 9:00PM (ET/PT). (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JULY 13: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (L) and Serena Williams present the award for Best Male Athleteonstage at the 13th Annual ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 13, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during 36th Annual Comic-Con International - Day Four at San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California, United States. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, host during 2005 Taurus World Stunt Awards - Show at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Dwayne Johnson a.k.a. The Rock during Dwayne The Rock Johnson Appears Outside The Late Show with David Letterman - October 19, 2005 at Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, presenter during The 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards - Show at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by M. Phillips/WireImage for The Lippin Group)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Sarah Michelle Gellar (Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage)
Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Simone Alexander Johnson (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
Dwayne The Rock Johnson during 2006 MTV Video Music Awards - Red Carpet at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Sony Pictures-Los Angeles)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during Joel Madden, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Xzibit Visits MTV's 'TRL' - September 14, 2006 at MTV Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Carley Margolis/FilmMagic)
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during 2007 Taurus World Stunt Awards - Press Conference at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by M. Phillips/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on September 17, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 3442 -- Pictured: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during an interview on September 24, 2007 (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Actor Dwayne The Rock Johnson poses in the press room during the 80th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on February 24, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson -- Air Date 06/18/2008 -- Episode 3577 -- Pictured: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during an interview on June 18, 2008 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 17: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson delivers the commencement speech at the University of Miami at Bank United Center on December 17, 2009 in Coral Gables, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/WireImage)
Actors Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson attend Spike TV's 4th Annual Guys Choice Awards held at Sony Studios on June 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JUNE 06: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson arrives at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards Arrivals at Gibson Amphitheatre on June 6, 2010 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends the WrestleMania XXVII press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square on March 30, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 03: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson during WrestleMania XXVII at Georgia Dome on April 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 03: Actor/wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends 'WrestleMania 27' at the Georgia World Congress Center on April 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 04: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is sighted on the set of 'Pain And Gain' on April 4, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Uri Schanker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 23: Actor Dwayne Johnson, recipient of the Action Star of the Decade Award, arrives at a Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation event at Caesars Palace during the opening night of CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners on April 23, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steven Lawton/FilmMagic)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 'The Rock' Dwayne Johnson visits GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 3/27/13, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images)DWAYNE JOHNSON
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends the WrestleMania 29 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall on April 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 24: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends CinemaCon 2014 Off and Running: Opening Night Studio Presentation from Paramount Pictures at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon 2014 on March 24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 24: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends the Paramount Studios presentation during Comic-Con International 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 24, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson speaks onstage during the 2014 ESPYS at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2014 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 17, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/KCSports2014/Getty Images For Nickelodeon)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 24: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends the Paramount Studios presentation during Comic-Con International 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 24, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends the Christmas in Washington 2014 Children's Hospital visit at Children's National Medical Center on December 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. 25248_003_0019.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 26: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson arrives at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'San Andreas' at TCL Chinese Theatre on May 26, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson speaks onstage during 'The Next Intersection For Hollywood with William Morris Endeavor's Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson' at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Fast Company)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: 73rd ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Simone Alexandra Johnson arrive to the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016. (Photo by Alberto Rodriguez/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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“It was never something that I trumpeted and beat my chest and ever said publicly, ‘This is what I’m going to do,’ but as that story picked up, Americans picked it up and there was this sentiment of, ‘We’re not joking, and we would really love the idea if you would run,'” Johnson recalls.

“In that, I knew I had to listen to the people and really, really think about it,” he continues. “That’s where I’m at right now — I’m well aware politics is not the business I’m in, so the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can. I’m continuing to watch our presidency and watch how every new development is handled. I continue to watch our leaders in government, and like all Americans, I continue to be hopeful that our leaders exhibit poise, perspective and the ability to bring our country together during these tough times — which I don’t feel our presidency is currently doing — so that’s where I’m at.”

Johnson – who has attended both Republican and Democratic conventions, but says he is currently a registered Independent – is toying with the idea purely because of his loyalty to the American people, which he has displayed through his genuine relationship to his 175 million followers across social media platforms.

“I care deeply about our country, and I care deeply about our people – especially now,” he says. “Decency matters and being a decent human being matters, and character matters, and leadership matters.”

The fan campaign for The Rock to run for president began before the 2016 race, but the current political climate and divisive nature of the country has further inspired Johnson to consider his potential political career.

“I think this is just a product of my DNA, in that when there’s an issue, that’s the time we have to come together, work hard to understand each other and ultimately get to a better place,” Johnson explains. “For example, when it’s a polarizing issue like our NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, that’s not a time to be divisive and shut them out of the White House. It’s the time to actually open the doors and bring those players in so our President and staff can understand exactly what the needs are — face to face, so change and positive progress can happen — but that’s not happening right now.”

Should he run, Johnson hasn’t put thought yet into who he would select as his running mate. Though “SNL” chose Tom Hanks as The Rock’s VP, Johnson says he’s not sure if his veep would hail from Hollywood or D.C. or elsewhere.

“Two necessities off the top of my mind are that I’d want my VP to be a tremendous leader and a high-quality human being,” he says, “Whether that’s from Hollywood, Washington, the medical field, Wall Street or education.”

While Johnson didn’t discuss any policy with Variety, he did speak to one of the hot-button issues sweeping the country right now: sexual harassment in the workplace.

“I’ve shaken the hands of a few of these men, and I want to choke them out, but it’s important to stay poised right now and keep that in mind,” Johnson admits, referring to recently ousted Hollywood power players.

The father of two daughters with a third on the way, Johnson feels a tipping point for change and is optimistic that the future will bring a better environment for women.

“I’m hopeful that my daughters are learning great lessons from what’s happening right now. My 16-year-old daughter Simone has a great head on her shoulders and we’re extremely proud of her, and we will make sure that we raise our daughter Jasmine in the exact same fashion,” he says of his two-year-old. (Days after this interview was conducted, Johnson announced he and his partner Lauren Hashian are expecting their second child together, a baby girl.)

“I’m hopeful in the spirit of what we are witnessing and experiencing now – this watershed moment that is deeply impacting the business that I make my living in – but also the ripple effect and the spider web effect that is deeply impacting cultures of business around the world, even if they’re not making headlines right now,” he continues. “So I’m hopeful, but my hope follows the deep pain and empathy that I have for these very brave women that have come out already and continue to come out.”

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