Do you think about having to balance both of your personas at once? John Cena the wrestler and John Cena the actor?
Because I've been in it so long, and if you look at Dwayne ["The Rock" Johnson], he had tremendous success in the WWE, but his success was short-lived when he left full-time for Hollywood. I think he had to do a tremendous switch, but I know he had the ultimate goal for coming back to the WWE and making it a better place. But for me, at this point, so much of our audience loves me, and so much hates me, I kind of just realize I am who I am, and I am John Cena, I'm not "The Rock." So, yeah, that gray area gets super gray, so it's challenging at times.
Is Dwayne's career something you look at to model your own after?
He's sort of in a universe by himself, and I don't know if that kind of success is achievable by anyone else. The work ethic of that young man and the desire he has to just keep moving is... I talk to him every so often and tell him he truly sets the pace and the rest of us are just trying to not lag too far behind. I'm really happy to have had the success I've had and do the things I've been able to do, and excited for some things coming up, but it's all way too new for me to say, "Oh, yeah, I'm definitely going to do this." I really love being in the WWE, so it would have to be something where I get to work with a Judd Apatow or Amy Schumer, or an opportunity with Tina and Amy, to pull me away for a small period of time to do something.
Your song "The Time Is Now" [from your 2005 album You Can't See Me] has become such a big part of your persona. Can we expect more rap music from you any time soon?
That's a young man's game. If you're gonna expect music, it would be a soul, R&B, rat-pack-type of thing. Maybe classic. Every once in a while I'll listen to hip-hop, but it's all stuff from the early '90s and late '90s. I'm kind of out of touch with everything. The song is definitely part of what launched me on this journey...but I think had I just kept being "the rap guy," I think that would have been short-lived, because it's so one-dimensional. I've never lost my connection to hip-hop, I just don't know what's popular today.
Cena also discussed working with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Trainwreck and more in the full interview.