Welcome to E!’s Tales From the Top, our series on women who are leaders in their fields and masters of their craft. Spanning industries and experiences, these powerhouse women answer all the questions you’ve ever had about how they got to where they are today—and what they overcame to get there. Read along as they bring their resumés to life.
Allow us to reintroduce you to Dany Garcia.
You’ve likely seen her name somewhere—her resume is long, wide-ranging and, put simply, impressive. But often the first title attributed to Dany is: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson‘s ex-wife. Which, she is, but it’s arguably her least important and least remarkable title. She’s got fistfuls of others: Producer on some of Hollywood’s most lucrative blockbusters, founder of a womenswear line, professional bodybuilder and history-making owner of the XFL. But that’s not where her story begins.
“My first job,” she recalled in an exclusive interview with E! News, “was running an eight-stall barn when I was growing up in New Jersey, when I was 12 years old.”
Seeing her obsession with horses, she elaborated, her grandparents paid $600 for a 12-year-old trail horse she named Bucky “and the deal was that I would work to pay for his board and feed. I was running and cleaning the barn and driving huge tractors and cutting hay down. It was an amazing experience. It was very much an eye-opening experience only because I didn’t realize how much I could do.”
Spoiler: It was a lot. While Dany may not have predicted every title under her (weight) belt today, she understood early on that she wanted to make money.