John Cena Discusses His Experience Working On "The Marine," Talks The Rock In Film

Former 16-time world champion John Cena recently spoke to GQ to promote his HBO series Peacemaker, as well as discuss a wide variety of topics, including how he believes The Rock broke barriers for wrestlers in movies, and what his experience was like working on his first feature film, The Marine. Highlights from the interview are below.

How The Rock broke barriers for pro-wrestlers in film:

As far as Dwayne Johnson’s trajectory is concerned, he’s broke down so many stereotypes, shattered so many barriers. He allowed the outside public to be like, ‘Yeah, these WWE guys, they may be on to something.’ None of those opportunities happen without him. By doing what he’s done with class and professionalism has given opportunity to folks like me, where people are like, ‘Yeah, okay, I’ll take a chance on John.’ I don’t think Dwayne understands the impact he’s had on an entire industry of people. He gave me some great advice when I got the audition for ‘Trainwreck’. The audition process is scary for me like it is for most people and it is a business of failure. You know, you gotta be used to getting told you’re not the right fit and I really wanted this one and deadpan, Dwayne was just like, ‘Just be yourself man. They called you in for a reason. Just be who you are’ and I was.

Talks his experience working on his first feature film, The Marine:

The Marine was a wonderful experience and it’s one I’ll never forget because you can’t have a journey without the first step and the first step is always the boldest. They say timing is everything and I was not ready for the opportunity I was given. You know, I always spoke about how I was courageous enough to step up when I was asked to embrace Hip-Hop culture on WWE programming. Well this was a decision made to open a studio and to try to diversify the abilities of WWE superstars. Vince [McMahon] said, ‘Hey, I’m going to send you to Australia.’ I said, ‘Okay, what am I doing?’ He says, ‘Well you’re gonna be in a movie.’ ‘…Okay when?’ ‘I gotta send you in ten days’ but I pretty much left this — a small meeting in his office and packed my bags and went to be in the movies which I knew nothing about. So I’m a young man in his mid-20s, I love the life I’m leading. I’m riding a lightning bolt of live audience every night, I’m champion at the time. As a former athlete, I get to be physical all the time. I have what I believe is a good work-life balance and then I get thrown into cinematic creativity which is very patient. It is a very slow process and I just wasn’t ready for it. My mind was elsewhere. At the age and the time in my life, I wanted to be in the ring and I looked around and I always figured, ‘If I’m gonna do action, why am I doing it here? Why don’t I do it in front of 15,000 people? Because it’s so much cooler to do it then and I only have to do it once and there is no wrong and it’s live.’ At the time, I didn’t realize what I was doing. I never realized I was becoming a more seasoned professional, I never realized the nuggets of wisdom I would take from my peers, I never realized what the value of that opportunity was and I chalked that one up to being young and ambitious, just not too wise.

(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)