Way before he was Hollywood’s highest-paid actor — before he was even the Scorpion King — Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was just a champion WWE wrestler… and a champion alien fighter on Star Trek: Voyager.
Today marks the iconic Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, so it’s only fitting to take a look back through the archive and get a glimpse of The Rock’s breakout role as the unnamed “champion” in the 1999 episode titled “Tsunkatse.” It was one of his first acting appearances ever, predating his climb to Hollywood stardom.
“To everybody’s surprise, he was wonderful,” says executive producer Rick Berman in the footage. “We had never really seen him do any acting other than playing The Rock.”
In the scene, The Rock wears a forehead prosthetic and a gold lamé harness while facing off against prisoner Seven of Nine in an arena fight. Accustomed to crowds of tens of thousands at his WWE performances, The Rock didn’t seem phased by the change in venue.
“For the most part, it basically comes down to entertainment. Same thing,” he says of the acting gig. Watch the clip for behind-the-scenes footage of fight choreography and The Rock’s charming-as-ever early commentary.