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After becoming one of the biggest names in sports entertainment, John Cena has been making the transition that many superstars eventually make, to the world of acting. He's done action movies and comedies alike but Cena says that his new movie The Wall is the sort of action movie he likes to make, and he's candid about the action movies that he used to make, admitting that he didn't really enjoy them. According to Cena...
The Wall is the kind of action I do like to do. I really wasn't proud of the stuff that I did beforehand, which was the stereotypical --- it might as well have come in a white box that said "Movie" on the side. I think the performance dictates that. It wasn't as creatively stimulating as the stuff I'm in now.
The confession comes as part of an interview with Entertainment Weekly about John Cena's newest film, where he plays a military sniper who gets drawn into a game of cat and mouse with an enemy sharpshooter. The movie looks to be a solid combination of both action and drama. It's certainly not the stereotypical "action movie" that Cena made when he was first getting into movies, which he's referring to here.
It's unlikely that anybody would argue with Cena about the generic nature of his early work. While films like The Marine and 12 Rounds weren't the worst action movies the world had ever seen, they certainly didn't do much to add anything interesting to the history of global cinema. They were showpieces designed to make sure everybody saw how impressive looking John Cena was.
Cena's interview is remarkably candid and he admits that he occasionally turns down acting jobs because he doesn't believe his skill set is in the right place to do the role justice. Maybe that's why he was ok with his early action work at the time, because he knew they were the right sort of roles for him at the time.
However, it should also be pointed out that the quote above may qualify as biting the hand that feeds him. John Cena's first four movies, including those early action movies he's not proud of, were produced by WWE Films, the production company run by the folks who give Cena his day job. While Cena has been taking more and more time away from the WWE ring these days, he still qualifies as a wrestler who makes movies, as opposed to an actor who wrestles on the side. It's unlikely that WWE would appreciate "the face that runs the place" bad-mouthing The Marine, considering the company has made four sequels in the franchise, though all with different wrestlers in the lead.
The Wall is in theaters now and is getting solid, if not glowing reviews. If nothing else it appears to be another step on John Cena's road to becoming a better actor.