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‘Barbie’ Wanted John Cena, And He Wanted To Do The Film, But His Agency Said It Was “Beneath Him”

John Cena knows how to wrestle. And he put that skill to good use when he decided to take a role in Barbie despite his agency saying the role of a mermaid was “beneath” him.

Cena appeared on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday and dived into the conflict. Cena said that ultimately it was Margot Robbie who helped bring him on board.

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But his agency thought differently about the part.

“I don’t put it past them. They’re just going on what they know,” Cena said. “And what they know is, ‘This entity, this commodity, gravitates towards these things, we should stay in this lane. 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 Five, 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 was ok with his agency’s stance.

“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.”

Cena didn’t point fingers, but last May he signed with William Morris Endeavor after spending 18 years with ICM Partners. He is currently promoting his new movie, Ricky Stanicky, which will be released March 7 on Prime Video.

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