Rock rolls with big stick

'Walking' star huge fan of original

HOLLYWOOD — Male youth was served a man-sized portion of chicken wings, classic rock and what MGM hopes will be the next action hero at the “Walking Tall” premiere party, held in the lot behind the El Capitan Theater amid Monday night’s unseasonable warmth.

Wrestling heavyweight Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson carries the big stick in this remake of the 1973 hixploitation drama.

“The thing that’s cool about the Rock is right about the time (we cast him), we found out he was a huge fan of the original movie,” MGM’s Chris McGurk said.

Johnson confirmed his fandom, expressing admiration for Billy Jack pics in the same breath.

Johnny Knoxville, meanwhile, noted that the pic’s stunt work challenged him in a way “Jackass” never could. “In the past, all I had to do was fail,” he quipped.

Among those on hand were MGM’s Michael Nathanson and Peter Adee; Hyde Park’s Ashok Amritraj and Jon Jashni; and producers Paul Schiff and David Hoberman.

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