Once upon a time, John Cena was cutting promos on the Rock about how the latter cared more about being a Hollywood movie star than about the WWE. Now Cena himself has become a Hollywood movie star in his own right, with the comedy Playing With Fire opening next week, and both Fast & Furious 9 and The Suicide Squad on the way. Last night, Cena appeared on The Tonight Show, where Jimmy Fallon asked him what he learned about being a movie star from Dwayne Johnson.
Cena started by explaining how his one-time WWE rival became someone whose advice he sought out:
The Rock and I are most known for our tremendous WWE feud that set WWE pay-per-view records, and we kind of talked a lot of trash about each other. Now, we also had a follow up match a year later. So we spent a year making fun of each other, and then one night beating each other up. And then we were like, “Did we just become best friends? Yep.” So basically, we were able to set aside our differences on that night. And in the next year, I got more chances at opportunities. And I had an audition and I had to put myself on tape for a movie called Trainwreck. I hadn’t yet got any news that I was going to be in the running for anything in the movie, and I was really nervous. And I’m like, “I should talk to the one guy I know who’s in a lot of movies.” And Dwayne just happened to be at WWE. And I’m like, “Hey man. We have a pretty good talking relationship. Is there any advice you can give me on how to turn this into a success? Because it’s something I really want to do.”
Then he related the most important advice Johnson gave him.
He gave me a piece of advice that still rings in my ears like he said it yesterday. And it was — I don’t even know if he knows this was such sage advice. He just turned to me as smooth and casual as he always does with everything he says, and in such an inspirational tone, as with everything he does. He was like, “Just be yourself, man. That’s why they asked you there in the first place.” And that message of always be authentically yourself has stuck with me, and created the opportunity that I have.
It’s not exactly acting advice, but it is advice on being a movie star, especially in action and comedy. You don’t see a movie with Dwayne Johnson or John Cena in it because you want to see them disappearing into a role like Daniel Day Lewis. You go for them, and the easy charisma they have in their usual personas.
(Thanks to 411Mania for the transcription.)