'So gratifying': Dwayne Johnson talks bringing Samoan culture to Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson says it's "so gratifying and so special" to be showcasing Samoan culture in his latest film, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.

It's the WWE star's spin-off from Vin Diesel's high-octane franchise, co-starring Jason Statham.

Johnson says the special pride shared amongst all Polynesians should extend to his new movie.

"Whether it's Samoa or Maori or Tongan or Fijian or Tahitian, it's all Polynesian," he tells Newshub.

"The pride that I can feel from Polynesians from around the world, certainly in New Zealand - most  certainly in Auckland, where I used to live - it's so strong."

As the highest-paid man in Hollywood, Johnson is stoked he's able to put Samoan culture in front of such a large, global audience. 

"It's so gratifying and so special. We are a proud culture," says Johnson. 

"Never before in a big tentpole commercial film like this, a big global movie, has the Samoan culture ever been exposed, showcased or magnified... never on this scale."

"We had great Samoan consultants and Polynesian consultants as my Samoan [language] gets a little shaky sometimes, so I wanted to make sure I spoke it properly."

And for good reason - there was a very special person Johnson wanted to impress.

His mum.

She was on set for part of the movie, seeing with her own eyes as The Rock brought Samoan culture into a major Hollywood movie.

"She came to set on the day we are performing the Siva Tau. And it's the very first time I'm speaking in detail in Samoan," says Johnson.

"She's never heard me speak Samoan in this way… and she's balling!

"When our director David Leitch said 'cut', all the boys went over to her asking 'Are you, OK aunty?'

"Of course she's OK. She was crying out of pride."

So Johnson can sleep easy knowing his mother is already on board for Hobbs & Shaw -  now he has the rest of the world to convince.

The film opens in New Zealand cinemas on Thursday.