Warning: spoilers ahead
John Cena is best known as a WWE superstar, but he also shows off some impressive acting chops in “Trainwreck.”
The Judd Apatow-directed, star-making vehicle for Amy Schumer (who wrote the screenplay), looks at the love life of a commitment-phobic New Yorker named Amy (Schumer), who finally meets her true love, Aaron (Bill Hader). But to get to that point Amy has to go through some losers and break a few hearts. A victim of the latter is Steven, an Adonis who thinks he’s found “the one” until a glance at Amy’s phone makes him realise the harsh reality.
Cena plays Steven as a sensitive, arthouse film-loving teddy bear looking for a soul mate (possibly of the same gender).
“I get the call that they want me to audition for this part, they really want a big guy,” Cena told Business Insider about going out for the role.
Cena admits that he was hoping to prove to the casting director that he could do more than play a hulk of a man. It turned out he didn’t have to do much convincing.
“There’s Amy and Judd sitting there,” said Cena of his shock when he got to the audition and saw the director and star waiting for him. “We did stuff in the script and then they were like, ‘Let’s mess around,’ and we did some improv. From there they called me back for another audition, and then they called me back for a table read, and the rest is history.”
In a movie filled with R-flavored funny moments, Cena doesn’t waste time to get in on the fun. The first time we see Steven, he and Amy are having sex which leads to him hilariously trying to talk dirty to her, but instead only spouts weight-training lingo.
According to Cena, the script originally had Steven being more physical with Amy in the scene.
“We had dress rehearsals and I was throwing around this stunt coordinator in crazy sexual positions that I was going to do [with Amy] on camera the day we filmed,” Cena recalled. “But then it came down to [Steven] not knowing how to talk dirty and being sexually confused, and I’m actually very happy with that.”
Cena said what was kept for the scene comes mostly from what he and Schumer did while improvising on set.
Cena shows his improv skills once more in a movie theatre scene where a drunk Amy instigates a fight between Steven and another patron. Cena, who does his fair-share of banter on WWE, has a natural flow as he dishes out some great lines. One of the most memorable is after the guy says Steven looks like Mark Wahlberg — “I look like Mark Wahlberg **ate** Mark Wahlberg!” Steven exclaims.
But it’s when Amy and Steven leave the theatre that Cena shows a surprisingly impressive dramatic side.
Having already seen her phone, which is filled with messages she has with other men, Steven opens up to her, voicing his hurt as he thought she was going to be his “CrossFit queen.”
“It got me to do a lot of stuff I’m not known for,” Cena said of the role. “I got my chance to throw my sense of humour out into the world, and at the same time play this hulky guy who’s a softy, which in real life I’m a very emotional guy.”
Cena is not new to movies, but his past roles have been tough-guy characters in films like “The Marine” and “12 Rounds.” However, Cena hopes this is just the start of showing audiences a different side. Along with developing projects, he knows he needs to work on films where he doesn’t stretch himself too thin.
Though Cena promises not to leave the WWE anytime soon, he’s not taking a break from movies either. We will see him again on the big screen this holiday season in a bit part he has in the Amy Poehler/Tina Fey comedy “Sisters.“
“I play a tattooed-up drug dealer, so a different look than how you see me on Mondays being the goody two-shoes white knight,” he said.
Watch Cena in action in the “Trainwreck” red band trailer (warning: NSFW).
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