A-ROCK-NOPHOBIA

Published on: March 29, 2004

You'd think the star of "The Scorpion King" would be impervious to all kinds of creepy crawlies. But you'd be wrong, as The Rock is quite willing to admit.

The wrestler-turned-actor is 6 feet, 5 inches of rippling muscle and masculine brawn. But he's also a real wuss -- when it comes to spiders.

And when his co-stars from the upcoming film "The Rundown" found out about his fear, they snared him in a web of practical pranks.

"They played loads of jokes on me," says The Rock (a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson). "They put this big rubber spider in my pocket and I'd reach in to get something and I'd be like, 'Aaaagghhhh!'"

That's right -- The Rock screams like a girl. "One scream," points out the 31- year-old action star. "It wasn't screamING. One scream -- there's a big difference."

And if spiders weren't enough, there were other representatives from the animal kingdom that perked up "The Rundown" set.

The monkeys chosen for one key scene were adolescents in an "almost permanent state of arousal" and they were constantly jumping on and off the actors, divulged The Rock.

"I can never look at a monkey the same way again."