In the debut edition of Fightful Feast, Chris Van Vliet went in-depth on how he landed an interview with John Cena.
When asked by Fightful owner Jimmy Van, "how did you feel when you were able to get Cena, who is typically off limits to online interviews?", Chris expressed how special it was and revealed that it was Tyler Perry who made it all happen.
The story, as can be heard above, begins with an interview and a next day encounter on the red carpet for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Perry surprised Van Vliet by remembering the reporter's name and the fact that he wears "fun" socks. When asked how he knew all of this, the famed filmmaker divulged that he does research on all the people he thinks are good. Their interaction ended with a tantalizing "we'll be in touch."
It didn't take long for the two to connect, with Perry wanting Van Vliet to read for a role in a new show he was developing. Work, unfortunately, prevented this from coming to fruition.
Following another interview, this time for his latest Madea project, Perry told Van Vliet that he saw bigger things in his future than local television. Flattered, Chris forwarded a link to his YouTube channel, which garnered the response, "this thing's huge! Would you ever want to do an interview with John Cena?"
Accepting this offer was a no-brainer for Van Vliet. Cena reached out almost immediately, looking to set something up in New York during WrestleMania weekend. The former WWE Champion provided a specific gym and time to meet.
The interview, which you can see here, was only supposed to last 10 minutes but wound up going over twice as long. Van Vliet recounts the brutal honesty with which Cena answered his questions, and adds that it felt like a legacy interview.
Van Vliet attributes Cena's candor to the fact that Tyler Perry spoke so highly of him and being the friend of a friend created a more comfortable environment.
It clearly worked as Cena sent a thank you text after they had parted.