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Roman Reigns in Hobbs and Shaw

The Fast and Furious franchise has always highlighted the importance of family, but Hobbs and Shaw is truly a family affair. That’s because Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s cousin, Joe Anoa’i, better known in the world of professional wresting as Roman Reigns, scored a role in the spinoff. However, lest you declare this is nepotism at work, Roman Reigns revealed that he didn’t let Johnson know he was trying out for Hobbs and Shaw. As. Mr. Reigns recalled:

I had heard about the project and figured I’d just read for it, see how it goes. I don’t think Dwayne actually knew I was reading for it or interested in it at the beginning. Once my tape went out and they were happy with it, fairly serious [about me coming on], I think they told D.J. that I was in the hunt. It was pretty neat to go through the regular process and then see what happens once someone like Dwayne gets his fingerprints on something.

While Roman Reigns has been a wrestling superstar for years, Hobbs and Shaw marks his theatrical debut, and one can imagine it wouldn’t have hurt if he’d talked with Dwayne Johnson ahead of time to see if he could get into the spinoff. But no, as Roman told AOL, he auditioned like any normal person and his natural talents were enough to catch the eyes of the filmmakers.

Dwayne Johnson may not have had a hand in Roman Reigns securing a part in Hobbs and Shaw, but he was certainly excited about his cousin coming aboard. Johnson broke the news that Roman Reigns was appearing in Hobbs and Shaw back in January, saying that he was impressed with Roman’s “focus, effort and authentic performance.” Then in April, the second Hobbs and Shaw trailer provided our first look at Roman in action.

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In case you haven’t been keeping up with Hobbs and Shaw news, Roman Reigns is playing Mateo Hobbs, one of Luke Hobbs’ brothers. Mateo and the rest of the Hobbs clan will be drawn into Luke’s latest adventure when he, Deckard Shaw and Hattie Shaw head back home to face off against main antagonist Brixton Lore and his forces.

2019 is a big year for Roman Reigns. In addition to starring in Hobbs and Shaw, he also announced in February that his cancer was in remission. He’s since gone back to being a regular on Raw, although depending on how his performance in Hobbs and Shaw is received, perhaps he’ll follow in the footsteps of other wrestlers like Dwayne Johnson, John Cena and Dave Bautista by focusing more on building an acting career.

Along with Dwayne Johnson and Roman Reigns, Hobbs and Shaw’s cast includes Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Eiza González, Helen Mirren, Eddie Marsan and Lori Pelenise Tuisano, among others. Deadpool 2’s David Leitch directed and longtime Fast and Furious contributor Chris Morgan wrote the script.

Hobbs and Shaw races into theaters on August 2, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. For now, you can learn what other movies are coming out later this year in our 2019 release schedule.