Former 16-time WWE world champion John Cena recently appeared on Insight With Chris Van Vilet to hype the upcoming blockbuster release of F9: The Fast Saga and discuss all things pro-wrestling, including what he feels like he learned from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, and how he has trained himself to become a better actor on-screen. Highlights are below.
What he feels like he learned from Vince McMahon:
“That’s another hour and a half special, maybe more. I continue to learn from him every single day. There is not an instance that goes by where I don’t reflect on my experience in the WWE and what he has taught me. Often times learning from osmosis, he doesn’t hit you over the head with the lessons, but you can learn from his decision making. It says a lot about the person and what you can take. That well is endless and not dried up yet. I continue to learn from him. I think the most valuable of all the lessons is to show up and deliver. That isn’t something he says, it’s something he does all the F’n time. He’s always there and he’s always invested. People can question his creative motives and whatever, it’s creativity, there’s always going to be an opinion. He’s always got his boots on the ground, he’s always invested and he always believes in his passion about the product. I think just showing up and delivering, that’s a huge takeaway.”
What he’s done to become a better actor for film:
“I mean if you look at it in that perspective, I started out doing movies as a business decision. It was originally supposed to be Steve Austin but he passed. Vince was like ‘Hey I need you to go to Australia.’ This is 2 weeks before shooting. He explained if we can bolster WWE studios, we will bolster WWE live event attendance. We can host larger venues and be more widespread. I’m like this guy is onto something, lets go do this so I can get back to the ring. That’s the wrong approach to take, but I continued to take that approach to the movies that I did, and in turn I made a lot of bad movies. So now transfer that into WWE speak. This match would be good for the energy drink I’m trying to sell. If more people like the match more people will drink the energy drink. No, you have a match match because you f*cking loved to have those matches and you want to be there and be in the middle of it, look around at the majesty. So it wasn’t until honestly the Fred movies where I could parody myself and that was kind of the start of all that. And after that Trainwreck, where I could have fun with the process and expect nothing out of it. Fred was a cameo, Trainwreck was a cameo and I did a bunch of other small cameos where I stop looking at is as a vehicle and start to look at this as creative fun. The thing is I was looking at WWE like that all of the time. WWE is not a vehicle for me to go anywhere else, it was where I want to be. I then fell in love with falling into another character, taking the jorts off once in a while and showing my ass on television. It’s fun, it’s imaginative and it also keeps the passion for WWE. If they change my character heel or babyface or whatnot, it doesn’t matter because I have these other outlets I can express those emotions that I want to do. I had to change my perception and that came after tremendous failure. I thought after all those bad movies I was done. 15 years later I got a second chance at the movie business and we are talking about Fast 9. But that comes from absolute fall on your face failure.”
Full interview is below.