The world’s highest-paid actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has big box-office draw — but it’s his even bigger heart that made the Moana star this year’s Sexiest Man Alive!

So what did the former WWE champ, 44, think when he first heard about his latest title?

“I said, ‘That’s awesome.’ And then what went through my mind was just how cool and exciting it is,” Johnson tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “And then I thought, ‘Wow, we’ve pretty much reached the pinnacle.’ I’m not quite too sure where we go from here. I’ve done it all, this is it.”Dwayne Johnson 06

At 6’5″ and 245 lbs., the Herculean star insists that becoming comfortable in his own skin “took a lot of time.”

As a teen growing up in Hawaii, “I was doing a lot of things that I shouldn’t have. I was getting arrested multiple times, but at the same time, always very respectful to my teachers and elders. I was unsure of who I was and who I wanted to be,” he says.

These days, he says it’s his relationships with his longtime girlfriend Lauren Hashian, their 11-month old daughter Jasmine and his daughter Simone, 15, (with ex-wife, producer Dany Garcia) that help him stay grounded.

“I’ve made big sweeping changes in my career over the years, which have served me nicely,” he says. “But I feel that the big sweeping changes that happened in my life, in my relationships, of being a dad, of being a partner, and the things that I was and the things that I am, has really lent itself to a confidence.”

“We just have this awesome family that is truly non-traditional but so rooted in love. And that’s such a cool thing,” he says. “I’m very proud of it.”

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