John Cena Admits F9 Cast Was 'Apprehensive' About Him Joining Franchise: 'Who Is the New Kid?'
Although John Cena loved his experience with F9 and the close association with the closely related cast, the actor and WWE star admits he had to earn his place in the "family" of star Vin Diesel.
"They were kind of worried that I was there, just like we are in WWE, and they were like, 'Who's the new kid?'" Cena recalls PEOPLE. "But when the new kid is doing something good, or when you have good open conversation, it's like, 'Yes, you're fine.'
Cena, 44, who plays Diesel's brother Jakob in the ninth film in the franchise, says joining and joining the ensemble felt like "being welcomed into the locker room."
"Or as Vin calls it, 'the family'. It's super rare in the movie," he says in this week's issue of PEOPLE. "Because you usually do the project, you keep going. It's like a wonderful summer camp. You make great friends and some keep in touch with them and some don't, but you do that thing and then it goes on. This family meets every two years to make Fast. They are celebrating their 20th anniversary. This is a global franchise that has entertained fans for two decades. I've been with WWE Performer for years, next year will be my 20th anniversary Seeing Vin and Jordana [Brewster], Michelle [Rodriguez] and the crew Tyrese [Gibson] and Luda [Ludacris] have played in these characters for 20 years. It felt as homely as a WWE locker room. That did I haven't felt it anywhere. "
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Courtesy Warner Bros. Enterta John Cena and Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad
Cena adds that he would like to do another Fast movie.
"I think it's great that audiences around the world are still so excited about it and I'm so excited that they are doing another," he says. "I hope Jakob still has some life in his crotch and I can still be part of this story because it was a really nice experience to be there."
If you want to find out more about John Cena, get the latest issue of PEOPLE at the newsstand now.
On the heels of Cena's well-received work in F9 follows the highly anticipated (and highly R-rated) villain-centered film The Suicide Squad, in which Cena plays a relatively no-nonsense, patriotic warrior Peacemaker alongside a colorful cast of played characters from: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, Joel Kinnaman, Sean Gunn, Daniela Melchior and more.
The actor describes the unique premise and the eventful plot of the film, directed by Jame Gunn: "Nobody is ready for it, but everyone needs it in their life," he says.
RELATED: John Cena started exercising when he was 13 because he was tired of being beaten up
Cena continues, “It's a two-hour, 23-minute film with 25 main characters. It does not stop. And I think that's why we had so much fun filming. "Okay, now let's move on to the next one." No, the next one is now. 'OK. Yes. In order. Let's do that again. ' The movie just never stops, it really doesn't stop. And you're following this huge, wonderfully talented cast on this journey that people [have to] bring extra pants because you're going to need them after the first 10 minutes. "
His Peacemaker character is already slated for a spin-off series that will debut on HBO Max, and Cena assures audiences that if Suicide Squad likes it, they will enjoy the new series.
"I think the best way to tease it is to watch The Suicide Squad - the early reviews are like, 'This is crazy and I want more' and when you watch The Suicide Squad you feel the same way you are for a f ----- peacemaker come January .
The Suicide Squad opens in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6th. F9 is now playing in theaters.
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