John Cena Believes There's Another Decade's Worth Of Storylines In A Possible Heel Turn

John Cena talks about character development in WWE.

Today, John Cena has branched off into the world of Hollywood entertainment. Now, a new audience is becoming acquainted with John Cena through his roles as Peacemaker and in movies such as Hulu’s Vacation Friends.

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Despite this being John Cena’s major leap into the world of acting, he has been a storyteller and a character in the world of WWE for two decades. In a new interview with GQ, John Cena is breaking down his character arc over the last 20 years.

Aside from his brief run as a heel in 2003, John Cena has largely portrayed a character of high moral value dressed in brightly colored t-shirts whose sole responsibility was to make sure that the WWE Universe, especially the children, were having a good time on any given night of the week.

“WWE’s version of John Cena has changed tremendously over the years,” John Cena began. "For the last decade, I would say has been a character with a cornerstone value system of virtue. A lot of times audiences now want to get behind the character who is flawed, like Peacemaker, who isn’t completely steadfast in his value system and doesn’t completely operate for ‘Hustle, Loyalty and, Respect,' and the foundation of pure virtue. People want more depth in a character arc. In the WWE, we are just playing a role, but I kind of do this for all of [my] roles, whether it be Peacemaker, John Cena, or whatever. I have to try to look within myself and take moments from my actual life and see how I felt and try to put that into a character,” John explained.

John Cena explained that even though his character shares his real name, at the end of the day, he is just playing a character in WWE and isn't necessarily the splitting image of the character he portrays on TV.

“I’m not exactly somebody who kicks in your front door and rips through your house in jean shorts and a t-shirt ready to throw my hat at your parents and ask you to a Last Man Standing Match, but I know what it means to be excited," John explained. "If I need to conjure up an emotion of, let’s say sadness, I look back on my life and remember when I was sad and hopefully find some sort of emotion I can grasp on to and then put it into,‘why would my reflection of this person think they are sad?’”, John added.

As for the age-old question of whether or not John Cena’s WWE character would ever turn heel, John Cena explained that he just doesn't make those decisions and even though he feels like there would be another decade's worth of storytelling in a possible villainous arc for his character, he has always maintained steadfast in trying to do the best he can to nuance the character he has had to play for nearly two decades.

“It takes a certain type of individual to go out there and play your hit song every night for two decades,” he continued. "There are decisions I can make, but I don’t make [the decision of], ‘Okay, now John Cena is going to be a bad guy.’ I don’t make that choice. Then I can be like, ‘Okay, I’m never gonna be a bad guy. How can I nuance a virtuous character?’ Would it have been great to be able to mess with the flaws of ‘WWE John Cena?’ Oh my goodness, I think there’s another 10 years' worth of stories in there, but it’s not my choice. I don’t run the company.”

In some cases, John Cena’s ability to ad-lib and add nuance to a character can actually stick. James Gunn recently revealed that John Cena is single-handedly responsible for expanding the sexuality of the Peacemaker character. Read more here.

John Cena also explained in the past that he used the unique opportunity of the Firefly Fun House match at WrestleMania 36 as a way to tell some of these stories that he wishes he could have through the years. Learn more here.

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