John Cena Explains How He Ended Up with a Role in Margot Robbie's 'Barbie': 'Happy Accident'

The actor said "they asked me if I wanted to be a merman" in Barbie and he quickly agreed

John Cena, Margot Robbie
Photo: Elianto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon

John Cena can explain how he ended up in the Barbie cast.

While on the Today show earlier this week to promote Fast X, the actor, 46, shared the story of how he wound up with a role in the upcoming Margot Robbie movie, calling it a "happy accident" that he "kind of" pitched himself.

"I think Barbie and Fast X share a lot of parallels. Their cast lists are amazing. ... So with a lot of opportunity, it was a chance for maybe to, 'Hey, would you guys be willing to have me if I could do something?' " Cena told Hoda Kotb.

"In an accidental run-in with Margot Robbie, I said, 'I will pretty much do whatever you guys need, 'cause I really enjoy the movie.' And they asked me if I wanted to be a merman. I said yeah, sure," he recalled.

Cena, who worked with Robbie on 2021's The Suicide Squad, said the encounter happened when they "literally randomly ran into each other as friends," and Fast X was filming "across the street" from Barbie.

Margot Robbie and John Cena attend the Warner Bros. premiere of "The Suicide Squad" at Regency Village Theatre on August 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California
Margot Robbie and John Cena in 2021. Kevin Winter/Getty

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Dua Lipa also plays a mermaid in Barbie, which features a star-studded cast that includes: Ryan Gosling, Kate McKinnon, Will Ferrell, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Scott Evans, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Hari Nef, Emma Mackey, Anna Cruz Kayne, Sharon Rooney, Issa Rae, Nicola Coughlan, Alexandra Shipp, Ritu Arya, Emerald Fennell, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Connor Swindells and Jamie Demetriou. Helen Mirren is the narrator.

Last year, Cena told British GQ about transitioning from WWE to Hollywood.

"The term Hollywood has such a mystique and luster around it. If you're skilled at doing one thing, and then you transition into doing another — really, it sounds the same, but it's a completely different thing," he said.

"If you have any chance of success, you have to really, really prepare as much as you can. And if you feel you don't have a head start, you've just got to put rubber to the road and work your ass off. So that's kind of where I'm at, dipping my toes back into the screen side of entertainment rather than live events."

Cena added, "And I realize I've got my work to do, and I'm just trying to work as hard as I can to catch up to everybody else."

Fast X is in theaters Friday.

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