Since getting into acting, John Cena has played a father in Nickelodeon’s Fred movies, Daddy’s Home and most recently, Blockers. While the WWE star has said in the past that he doesn’t want to have children of his own, being a dad on screen has encouraged him to reconsider.
“It’s certainly changed,” Cena, 40, tells PEOPLE of his stance on fatherhood. “The movie helps with that, certainly. My perspective on life helps with that and working on my relationship with my bride-to-be helps with that. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you just sit down and talk with people, so I’ve done a lot of that.”
“A lot of opportunity comes from that and the opportunities are merely a pivot,” he says. “They’d like you to play a dad in this comedy, what do I need to do? I need to do X, Y, Z. Done, no problem.”
In Blockers, Cena plays a dad named Mitchell who teams up with other parents to stop their high schoolers from losing their virginities on prom night.
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“I don’t view Mitchell as an overprotective dad,” he says. “Mitchell just thinks he has everything all figured out. He wanted a son and he’s got a very athletic daughter, so he’s doing good. And then he realizes little by little, finding what he finds, asking questions he’s never asked before, it is totally not what he thinks. His kid has become a young woman and he ain’t ready for it.”
The professional wrestler even felt like a parent on set sometimes around the movie’s young stars, including his on-screen daughter, played by Geraldine Viswanathan.
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“I would love coming in on Mondays hearing about what they did on the weekends and almost like a dad, I would only get so much information because I’m sure they had a bunch of fun that I don’t know about,” Cena says. “It honestly ended up in that kind of relationship, so that’s the approach we took.”
Blockers hits theaters Friday.