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Why Dwayne Johnson's Dad In Young Rock Looks So Familiar

Few stories in Hollywood are as grand and inspirational as that of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He got his start in the WWE asking people, "Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?" A few short years later, he got his start in films with supporting roles in the likes of The Mummy Returns and Doom. It wasn't long until he proved he could lead a popular franchise, and with the introduction of Luke Hobbs in Fast Five, Johnson officially became one of the most sought-after actors in the world. 

Long before the acclaim and the accolades, though, Johnson was just another kid whose father happened to also be a world-famous wrestler — Rocky Johnson. In the new NBC series, Young Rock, we get a glimpse into what it was like for the future superstar growing up around the likes of "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Andre the Giant

Rocky Johnson left a lot for his son to live up to. Considering the significance of that role, in particular, on the TV series, the show needed a solid actor to step into the ring, especially considering the fact the real-life legend himself passed away on January 15, 2020. For Young Rock, Johnson is played by Joseph Lee Anderson, and while you may not recognize his name yet, you're bound to have seen him in at least one of these projects. 

Joseph Lee Anderson had a small supporting role across three episodes of S.W.A.T.

In 1975, S.W.A.T. hit the airwaves, and while it only lasted for two seasons, it seems to have made quite the impression on the zeitgeist. The show was rebooted for a film adaptation in 2003 starring Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell, earning $207 million worldwide. The cop drama once again received new life when it was revived once more for television in 2017 with Shemar Moore and Stephanie Sigman as the officers making sure the streets of California stay safe. 

These two have gone on their fair share of adventures over the years, including a collaboration with Office Tony Larmen, played by Anderson, across three episodes. This new addition to the force is introduced in the season 2 episode, "Shaky Town," where Tony drags his partner, Jimmy Street (Alex Russell), to see an old lady who's worried about ghosts in her home. He appears in the following two episodes as well with him and his partner typically providing lighter B-plots to what's going on in the foreground. 

This wasn't the first crime drama Anderson was a part of, as he also had roles on Blue Bloods and Hawaii Five-0. But his next major role would put him in a very different environment. 

Joseph Lee Anderson portrayed Robert Ross in Harriet

Harriet Tubman is one of the greatest Americans who ever lived, and while the push to put her likeness on the $20 bill continues to see delays, she finally received the big screen treatment she so richly deserved with 2019's Harriet

The film follows the life of the famous abolitionist, as portrayed by Cynthia Erivo, who was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards and received a lion's share of the critical praise. She was joined in an exceptional ensemble by Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, and — of course — Joseph Lee Anderson. Anderson played Robert Ross, Tubman's older brother, and just one of the many slaves she rescued through the Underground Railroad. It's a vital role, and during a red carpet interview with Black Hollywood Live, he was asked what he did to prepare for such a legendary performance, and he responded, "I did a lot of, like, feeding off of Cynthia [Erivo]. I mean, how do you prepare for something like this?" 

One thing is for sure: he absolutely proved his mettle, and there's no doubt that it raised his profile significantly. 

Joseph Lee Anderson held his own beside Mark Harmon on NCIS

Since 2003, Special Agent Leroy Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his revolving team of associates have had to solve numerous crimes on NCIS, and over the course of its run, plenty of fresh blood has gotten thrown into the mix. For the season 17 episode, "Someone Else's Shoes," Joseph Lee Anderson officially entered this dark, murky universe as Marine Lance Corporal Bernard Ernest Williams (or "Barney" for short). 

While investigating a murder, Gibbs and the team stumble upon a homeless encampment where Barney is residing. At first, no one really seems to be of much help, but Barney agrees to show them where the deceased used to sleep. Barney is, at first, a suspect — but it's not long until he's attacked as well, at which point Gibbs' unit takes a special interest in keeping guard throughout the homeless camp, just in case the attacker strikes again. 

The episode raises the important issue of how the United States treats its veterans after they return home from war, and how many of them lack the resources to get back on their feet. It is emotional viewing, and Anderson is the kind of actor who really pulls you into whatever part he's playing.