John Cena recently sat down for an interview with Gorilla Position and touched on a variety of topics. Among them, Cena talked about which genre of movie is his favorite to create, why he initially didn’t enjoy the film making process, and he compared what it’s like performing in front of a WWE audience to performing in front of the film cameras.
First beginning his movie career in action films like The Marine and 12 Rounds, and then later being featured in hit comedies like Trainwreck and Blockers, Cena has proved that he is a versatile actor capable of actualizing all sorts of characters. Cena said that the content of the script is ultimately what helps him decide which parts to take and which he should pass on.
“I think it’s all over the board,” Cena said. “I just finished doing a two-hander action comedy in China. Which is not necessarily the genre, it’s the culture. Chinese movies are very different than Western movies. There’s a different sort of film making process and story telling process, and I was riveted by that. And the next one after this will be a family comedy. So once again, it’s not the genre, it’s the read.”
Cena’s first film, the aforementioned The Marine, was released in October 2006 and would grant Cena his first experience as a leading man in a big-budget Hollywood film. Cena said that, at the time, the lengthy process of creating the film would frustrate him because he thought he could make the process go faster. He explained that his primary focus was his character that was continuously evolving in the WWE.
“In the realm of like The Marine, 12 Rounds, the early movies that I did with WWE films – and I never look back on my experiences with regret, I look back on them to try to learn from them – I always thought I could make the process go faster because that’s the environment I was familiar with,” Cena said. “You have to understand, this is like 2004-2009, these are the prime years when things were catching fire, and the place I really wanted to be was on that canvas, man because that was where I felt most comfortable. And I was still trying to learn and define who I was. Went through a character shift from the ruthless aggression guy, to the rap guy, to the non-rap guy, to the superman guy, like all that stuff happened in that time period so it was such a thriving environment because of the instant gratification. Then you get plopped in a set and you’re waiting 8 hours for a giant stunt, and you don’t understand the reason because I’m in the stunt business and I just want to fall down. But that’s not the way it works.”
Cena now has an even greater appreciation for his accomplished career in the WWE, saying that it has prepared him for both cinematic and everyday life. He said that film makers and the WWE are all storytellers at the root of it.
“It’s storytelling so it’s massive that I have comfortable roots,” Cena said. “Man I can’t tell you how much, not only in cinematic acting but in life, the WWE has prepared me for. I take what I learn as a storyteller there and bring it to here, and then take what I’ve learn in becoming a success there, listen to people who know what they’re doing, I get full faith and full direction to people.”
You can watch the full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Gorilla Position with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.