Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has revealed that he was battling depression when he decided to end his dreams of NFL stardom and switch to a career in professional wrestling. Speaking during his Oprah's Master Class special, Johnson said that he faced dark days after being cut from the Canadian Football League at age 23.

Dwayne JohnsonDwayne Johnson has said depression led to his wrestling career.

"I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realise is that you're not alone. You're not the first to go through it," Johnson said. "I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], 'Hey, it's going to be okay.’"

The 43 year old then recalled the moment he got the call from his coach at the Calgary Stampeders a month after being let go from the team, asking him to rejoin. "I hung up the phone, and my dad said, 'You're going to do it, right?'" Johnson recalled.

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"I said, 'No I don't think so. I think I'm done with that. My gut tells me I'm done.’" It was then that Johnson made the life-changing decision to follow in his father’s footsteps and enter the world of professional wrestling.

But Johnson’s father, Rocky Johnson, wasn’t happy with his son’s decision. ”He said, 'You are throwing it all away. It is the worst mistake you will ever make,’" Johnson said. "I said, 'Maybe I'll be no good, but I feel like, in my heart, I have to do this.'"

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Johnson’s father eventually began training his son to wrestle and soon Dwayne was well on his way to superstardom in WWE as The Rock. During the special Johnson also gushed about being a father to 14 year old daughter Simone. 

"I always wanted to be a great dad. I always wanted to give Simone things that I felt I never got," Johnson said. "When I held her when she was born, I held her in these two hands and I said to her, 'I will always, always take care of you. For the rest of your life, you are safe.’”