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Dwayne Johnson honors Tampa friend with Down syndrome in new film

Milton Rosen is “The Rock’s Rock”
Posted at 5:50 AM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 07:04:41-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Milton McBride Rosen and Dwayne Johnson have been friends since childhood.

When they were growing up in Tampa, Milton, who has Down syndrome, taught the Rock how to work out, how to lift weights and how to never, ever quit.

That’s why the movie star now calls his friend “The Rock’s Rock.”

That’s also the title of a new short film produced by Johnson and Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts that’s making its rounds on ESPN and Good Morning America.

Milton, now 57, has a story straight out of Hollywood.

He was a struggling foster kid when he was adopted by twin weightlifting brothers Bruce and Al Rosen, who ran Tampa’s legendary Boddy Shoppe Gym.

“We had no idea what we were doing,” says Al Rosen, who today runs the Tri-Fitness Challenge. “We were 23 when we took on the responsibility!”

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But what they lacked in parenting know-how, they made up for with abounding love from a community of star athletes — Daryl Strawberry, Ric Flair — who watched over Milton like a brotherhood.

One of those athletes, a young kid Milton still calls “Dewey,” was Dwayne Johnson, who even shared a room with Milton when he crashed at the Rosen’s place for awhile.

“When I first met Milton, I was 5 or 6 years old,” Johnson says in the film. “Milton showed me how to work out.”

The Special Olympics is also highlighting the new film about Milton, whose limitless spirit is as big as his muscles.

Milton, a quiet man who flashes a movie-star smile, says he’s still stronger than Dewey.

And Al says for a time, he really was.

“Pound for pound, Milton was the strongest guy in the gym.”

Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions + Seven Bucks Digital Studios partnered with ESPN and Robin Roberts’ Rock'n Robin Productions to create this short film.

Watch "The Rock's Rock" below: