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John Cena’s Agency Thought ‘Barbie’ Cameo Was ‘Beneath’ Him



John Cena was advised by his agency to not appear in the Barbie movie, and luckily, he didn’t listen to them.

“I think the perspective from an agency standpoint was ‘This is beneath you,’ which I get that,” Cena, 46, said while appearing on The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday, February 21. “But also to the agency’s credit, immediately they acquiesced, and I was like, ‘No, we’re going to do it,’ but all they can do is offer their guidance.”

Cena shared that his team is on the smaller side with just himself and a manager. However, he does consult with an agency when he’s looking for new projects. Cena added that the agency doesn’t make any choices for him and the final say is in the actor’s court.

“I don’t put it past [the agency], they’re just going on what they know. And what they know is, ‘This entity, this commodity gravitates toward these things, we should stay in this lane.’ But I’m not a commodity,” he explained. “I’m a human being, and I operate under the construct of every opportunity is an opportunity.”

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The former WWE star shared that the agency’s stance comes from an economic perspective and typically prioritizes leading roles over brief appearances. However, Cena likes to take a different approach.

“I’ve always operated under the philosophy that good work gets you another chance,” he concluded.

Margot Robbie, who stars in Barbie as the titular character, ran into Cena while they were working in London. At the time, Cena was filming Fast X across the street from the Barbie production. While the pair, who previously worked together on 2021’s The Suicide Squad, were catching up, the idea for Cena to make a cameo was born.

“Because we’ve worked together before, and I was like ‘What are you doing here?’ And he was like, ‘We’re shooting at Leavesden at the moment.’ And I was like, ‘We’re shooting at Leavesden. Do you want to come be in Barbie?’” Robbie said to Buzz in July 2023. “And he was like, ‘Yeah!’ Because he’s just that kind of guy — like, ‘Sure!’”

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Cena followed his gut and made sure to be involved in the project. Since he was filming the latest Fast & the Furious installment at the same time, he ultimately got a brief role. Cena played a mermaid version of Ken in Barbie and joined the cast for filming for one day.

Cena’s instincts that the Greta Gerwig-helmed film would be a success were spot on. Barbie ultimately became the number one at the box office in summer 2023 and earned more than $1 billion worldwide. The comedy also received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

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