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What Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson said about his visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center

Church-owned center also thanks popular movie star for bringing his family

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Dwayne Johnson, recipient of the CinemaCon “Entertainment Icon of the Decade” award, addresses the audience during the Warner Bros.

Dwayne Johnson, recipient of the CinemaCon Entertainment Icon of the Decade award, addresses the audience during the Warner Bros. Pictures presentation at CinemaCon 2022 at Caesars Palace in Los Vegas on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Johnson says he has reached the point in life where he only wants to do things that enhance the lives of his family and friends.

Chris Pizzello, Associated Press

Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says he has reached the point in life where he only wants to do things that enhance the lives of his family and friends.

One of those activities involved a recent visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center near Laie on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, to celebrate his Samoan heritage.

The center hosted Johnson and his family in late March. The popular movie star posted photos and videos of the visit on social media, accompanied by messages of gratitude for the experience, the staff and his Polynesian family legacy.

Johnson, who topped the Forbes’ list of highest-paid actors in recent years, described the day as a “beautiful, unforgettable, soul-enriching and mana-fueled visit” on Instagram.

“That makes my heart full,” he wrote. “It was such an honor and privilege for my family and I to bring our entire team to experience our proud Polynesia culture. I had goosebumps covering my body all day, as every Polynesian performer bared their soul with pride and mana (and many tears) to illuminate our culture.”

Johnson’s mother, Ata Johnson, is Samoan. Johnson also voiced the character of Maui in the Disney film, “Moana,” which focuses on the Polynesian culture.

Johnson told about one “proud dad moment” in his post.

“The best part of the visit was seeing my two little girls stand tall and proud all day, even though sometimes the energy of our Polynesian culture can be very scary to little kids,” he wrote. “My little ones just knew in their hearts, that this is who they are. Who they were born to be. And these are our people. Fa’afetai tele lava and thank you to the entire Polynesian Cultural Center for making our visit truly unforgettable.”

One photo captured Johnson next to the famous statue of Hamana Kalili, father of the “Shaka” hand gesture and cultural symbol.

A group of Polynesian Cultural Center performers used song and dance to bid Johnson and his group farewell.

“My heart is full with pride to showcase our Polynesian culture,” Johnson said. “We love you guys and thank you so so much.”

Located on the north shore of Oahu, the PCC is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of the center’s employees are Latter-day Saint students who attend neighboring BYU-Hawaii.

The Polynesian Cultural Center thanked Johnson and his family for visiting in a Facebook post written by P. Alfred Grace, the center’s president and CEO.

“We are delighted to have hosted the incomparable Dwayne Johnson and his beautiful family here at the PCC,” Grace wrote. “It was an honor to meet this icon to all Polynesian people and a real joy to witness the pride and respect he has for his Samoan and Polynesian heritage.”