WWE legend John Cena has made a highly successful transition to acting in recent years, jumping to comedy and action vehicles with mostly a very good reception from critics and audiences.
With Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham bowing out of the ninth main entry in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, Cena’s inclusion in the cast has been seen as someone filling in the hole left by Johnson’s character.
Out doing “Dolittle” promotion, Cena spoke with Collider about his role in the new ‘Furious’ film, and from the sounds of it he had a ball:
“Dude, that one [Fast & Furious 9] was awesome in many respects because this is a franchise, like a legacy franchise. The cast in that movie has essentially been working together for twenty years. It is a family environment and it is one that the world views as their family as well.
They’re into the storyline, they’re into the characters, and they’re into this 20-year, eight-installment narrative that, in a lot of cases, [is defining]. This is a lot of what you’re known for in entertainment and what people come to expect.
On top of that, they’ve managed to build an almost superhero environment with real people. The first movie was about street racing and then it’s evolved and been able to pivot into this crazy thing that is still so plugged in with car culture.
It always outdoes itself in the form of, like, ‘What are they going to do next?’ but at the same time remains grounded in the story of family. It’s incredible and it’s incredible how digestible it is throughout the globe too, how worldly the story and the saga’s become… it’s already a globally-appreciated franchise and I think Fast 9 will be a wonderful adrenaline shot for the franchise.”
Cena can’t say whom he plays in the film but he does reveal that he’s involved in at least one major set piece and that, despite the obvious dangerous stunts, he was never worried:
“On film, I will cheat death but it’s so safe. I had no fear in any of the processes. When I saw small renderings of what it’s going to look like, I’m like, ‘What the f–k?’ It’s awesome and I think by making the actors feel that sense of like, ‘Hey man, we’ve set this up so you are going to be all right. Just go for it.’ You get the best performance from your actors rather than somebody going, ‘I don’t know about this.’… It was unbelievably safe but also unbelievably creative.”
The first trailer for “Fast & Furious 9” will debut at the end of the month ahead of the film’s arrival on May 22nd.