Dwayne Johnson has delivered an unexpected speech to a class of graduating high school students.
The Jumanji: The Next Level star took to Instagram on Monday to deliver an impassioned video message to ‘all the high school graduates of 2020’, after receiving a note from Lorraine Angelakos, a senior at Pompano Beach High School in Florida, in which she urged him to speak to graduating seniors, pointing out that some students won’t have the “luxury” of attending college, where celebrity-led commencement speakers are commonplace.
In previous posts Johnson has despaired over a lack of compassionate leadership in the U.S., and imploringly asked leaders: “Where are you?”
During the graduation address, which has since had over two million views, Johnson shared that Angelakos’ letter had supplied him with an answer: “You’re right here. Here you are,” he affirmed. “We all must become the leaders that we’re looking for.”
The caption accompanying the post furthered boosted Johnson’s sentiment: “Truth is, you’re the generation that will have the answers to the questions, we – as adults – are having a challenging time finding the answers to.”
Adding that he felt accountable, Johnson wrote his generation had a duty to: “Create the pathway to normalizing equality and showing that being compassionate, tough, empathetic, strong and kind are never mutually exclusive.”
Elsewhere in the speech, Johnson mentioned he was touched by Angelakos’ offer of a $7 (£5) deposit “as part of a good faith request” and down payment for the appearance, noting that “sealed the deal”. Johnson famously had only that amount in his name when he embarked on his career.