Zendaya and Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, are two of the most popular and successful celebrities in Hollywood today. They have both starred in blockbuster movies, such as Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Greatest Showman for Zendaya, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw for The Rock. But do they share more than just fame and talent? Are they related by blood or marriage?
Zendaya’s Ethnicity and Parents
Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman was born on September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California, to Claire Stoermer and Kazembe Ajamu Coleman. Her name means “to give thanks” in Shona, a language spoken in Zimbabwe. Zendaya has a mixed ethnic background, as her father is African-American, with Nigerian ancestry, and her mother is of German and Scottish descent. Her maternal grandfather was Peter Fanene Maivia, a professional wrestler from Samoa, who was also the maternal uncle of Dwayne Johnson’s mother. This means that Zendaya and The Rock are distant cousins through their Samoan lineage.
Zendaya grew up around the theater, as her mother was a manager at the California Shakespeare Theater and also taught at an inner-city school in Oakland. Zendaya developed a passion for performing arts and started her career as a child model and backup dancer. She rose to fame as a Disney Channel star, playing Rocky Blue in Shake It Up and K.C. Cooper in K.C. Undercover. She also launched her musical career with singles like “Replay” and “Rewrite the Stars”. She has won several awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for her role as Rue Bennett in the HBO series Euphoria.
The Rock’s Ethnicity and Parents
Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson and Rocky Johnson. His father was a professional wrestler from Nova Scotia, Canada, who was of Black Nova Scotian descent. His mother is of Samoan heritage, and her father was Peter Fanene Maivia, another professional wrestler who was also known as the High Chief of Samoa. The Rock is therefore a descendant of Samoan royalty and has a tribal tattoo on his chest and arm to honor his ancestry.
The Rock moved around a lot as a child, following his father’s wrestling career. He also played football in high school and college, and received a scholarship from the University of Miami. He had hopes of joining the NFL, but an injury ended his football dreams. He then followed his father’s footsteps and became a wrestler himself, joining the WWE in 1996 under the name Rocky Maivia. He later changed his name to The Rock and became one of the most popular and charismatic wrestlers of all time. He also transitioned to acting, starring in movies like The Scorpion King, Moana, and Skyscraper. He is one of the highest-paid actors in the world and has won several awards, including a People’s Choice Award and a Kids’ Choice Award.
Zendaya and The Rock’s Relationship
Zendaya and The Rock are not closely related, but they do share a common ancestor in Peter Fanene Maivia, who was their great-grandfather and grandfather respectively. They are therefore second cousins once removed, which means that they are separated by two generations. They have not publicly acknowledged their family connection, but they have expressed admiration for each other’s work on social media. For example, Zendaya tweeted her congratulations to The Rock when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017.
Zendaya and The Rock have not worked together on any projects yet, but they have both been involved in some of the same franchises. Zendaya played Michelle Jones (MJ) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man movies, while The Rock will play Black Adam in the DC Extended Universe’s upcoming movie of the same name. Both characters are part of the comic book world and have crossed paths with other superheroes. Maybe one day Zendaya and The Rock will share the screen as well.