John Cena Says He Was Advised Not to Take His Small 'Barbie' Role

Cena brilliantly explained on 'The Howard Stern Show' why he decided to ultimately be part of 'Barbie.'

John Cena is not a commodity. He's a human being. And that right there, he says, is why he ultimately decided to take a role in Barbie despite his agency initially saying the role of playing a mermaid was "beneath" him.

The 46-year-old star appeared on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday and he opened up about how he so badly wanted to be part of the Greta Gerwig-directed project. Cena explained that, at the time, he was busy filming Fast Five, and ultimately it was Barbie herself, Margot Robbie, who helped facilitate things.

But his agency, on the other hand, had other views about the whole thing.

"I don't put it past them. They're just going on what they know. And what they know is, 'This entity, this commodity gravitates towards these things, we should stay in this lane,'" said Cena about the advice he got from his talent agency. "But I'm not a commodity. I'm a human being, and I operate under the construct of every opportunity is an opportunity. And I read the script of the movie and I tried my hardest to be in the movie, but we were filming Fast, filming next door. And then when I finally got connected with the people who can make the decisions and Margot was like, 'We'll make you a mermaid. You'll be in it for half a day.' Yeah, sure."

Cena continued, "But I think the perspective from an agency standpoint was 'This is beneath you,' which I get that. But also to the agency's credit, immediately they acted ... but all they can do is offer their guidance. They're not ultimately making the choice and their guidance is, 'Hey, truly, trickle-down economics from this might take you out of these lead leap slots.' And I get all that. I've always operated under the philosophy of good work gets you another chance."

The action star never mentioned the agency he's referring to in the interview, but last May he signed with talent agency powerhouse William Morris Endeavor after spending 18 years with ICM Partners.

Cena's instincts served him right. The film would go on to break box office records, and Gerwig would become the first female director to surpass $1 billion at the box office. Barbie is also nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Cena is currently promoting his new movie, Ricky Stanicky, which drops March 7 on Prime Video.


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