Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Mourns His Movie Stand-In Jay Veltri: ‘Look at His Smile’

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson  Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Fast Company

Abs of steel and a heart of gold. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson mourned his former movie stand-in, Jay Veltri, in a touching throwback post to Instagram on Thursday, May 12, in remembrance of Veltri’s 2012 death.

“#TBT 2011. With one of the most optimistic and loving guys I ever knew – Jay Veltri RIP,” the Baywatch star, 44, captioned the shot. “He worked hard as my ‘stand in’ on my movies for years. … We did a lot together over the years. Worked out, drank, laughed, cried, had fun telling dumb jokes and yet thru it all, regardless of the challenges he would face, he would always ALWAYS have a smile on his face and he’d text me ‘Like you big bro I’m being strong.’”

The photo shows Veltri and Johnson goofing off on the set of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, with the former wrestler admiring Veltri’s flexed bicep.

“In this pic we took from set in Hawaii, I told him ‘Hey bro there’s paparazzi up on the hill. Flex and let’s have some fun for them.’ Look at his smile,” Johnson continued. “Jay passed away from cancer within a year of taking this pic. He was 34.”

#TBT 2011. With one of the most optimistic and loving guys I ever knew – Jay Veltri RIP. He worked hard as my "stand in" on my movies for years. A "stand in" steps in for the actor while the shot is set up – camera angles, lighting, props etc. Once the shot is lined up properly, I'll step in and shoot the scene. We did a lot together over the years.. worked out, drank, laughed, cried, had fun telling dumb jokes and yet thru it all, regardless of the challenges he would face, he would always ALWAYS have a smile on his face and he'd text me "Like you big bro I'm being strong". In this pic we took from set in Hawaii, I told him "Hey bro there's paparazzi up on the hill. Flex and let's have some fun for them". Look at his smile. Jay passed away from cancer within' a year of taking this pic. He was 34. Just came across this image on my phone and thought I'd share it with y'all. Constant reminder to be as grateful as we possibly can for everyday we wake up and get another crack at this crazy thing called life. Work hard, laugh hard, take care of your family and smile big.. 'cause we just never know what's around the corner. Keep smilin' & flexin'. #JV

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Though it’s been some time since Veltri’s untimely death, it’s clear that his passing still has an impact on Johnson, who is known to post heartwarming stories to his social media channels.

“Just came across this image on my phone and thought I’d share it with y’all,” he wrote. “Constant reminder to be as grateful as we possibly can for everyday we wake up and get another crack at this crazy thing called life. Work hard, laugh hard, take care of your family and smile big.. ‘cause we just need know what’s around the corner. Keep smilin’ & flexin’. #JV.”

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