Atlanta-based father of four Alvin Streeter had known for a while that he resembled Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He just didn’t realize he could make that into a job.
In 2015, Streeter was taking time off from The Home Depot, where he was the district manager, to work on a small side business. A friend suggested he do background work on movie sets to keep busy. “So I did,” he tells CNBC. “Last December, I popped up on a few different TV shows.”
“Atlanta is a hot spot for movies,” he explains. “There’s so much happening here. All your major films are made here and there are so many jobs in the industry that are pretty lucrative.”
In early 2016, Streeter submitted an application to do background work on “Baywatch,” due out in 2017, which happened to be Johnson’s next movie.
“I never heard anything, so I went on about my business,” says Streeter. “Then I get a call around mid-March asking if I’d like to come down to Savannah and stand in for Mr. Johnson. I didn’t know what they were talking about at first. I thought it was a prank call.”
He headed down to the movie set in Savannah, Georgia, met Johnson and his team, and, “to my surprise, there was a lot of similarity,” Streeter says. Johnson’s team agreed. A few weeks later, they asked Streeter to stand in for Johnson’s next movie, “The Fate of the Furious” (2017).
Since, Streeter has also worked on “Jumanji” (2017).
“I just feel privileged,” he tells CNBC. “Because while this is a freelance job, his entire team has embraced me, so when they do a movie on the east coast, I feel like as long as I want to do it, I can do it.”
A typical day on set will start at 7:00 a.m. and lasts 12 to 14 hours. As a stand-in, Streeter substitutes for Johnson before shooting each scene to help the film crew light the set and focus the camera.
“The other stand-ins and I set up all the shots,” Streeter says. “Basically, once the camera and lighting and everything is set up, and the shot is ready, then [Johnson] steps in and does the shot.”
Depending on the director, he’s sometimes asked to rehearse lines for the actors.
While Streeter acted in high school, a theater background isn’t required of stand-ins. Mostly, he just has to resemble Johnson, which he does to the point where an actor who worked on a movie with Johnson once mistook Streeter for The Rock while he was out shopping one day.
It helps that Streeter has always worked out — “it’s my therapy,” he says — and has even done bodybuilding for a few years.
“We’re not best buds. We’re friends,” Streeter says of Johnson. “We engage and we talk to each other on the set. It’s really a business relationship, to make sure the shot is right.”
It helps that Streeter admires Johnson’s work ethic. “He’s grinding every day,” says Streeter. “There’s an intensity when you’re working around him and you can see it and feel it in the air. He’s going 150 miles an hour every day. I thrive on that. That’s how I work, so I love that environment.”
While standing next to The Rock is pretty cool, an unexpected perk of the job has been getting to do stunts. Johnson has an official stunt-double, but Streeter has been asked to do a few anyway, which is, by far, the coolest part of the gig, he says.