John Cena has revealed the advice he would give to young performers, which includes the best piece of advice Vince McMahon ever gave him.
During a recent interview with ‘In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast’, WWE legend and star of HBO Max’s Peacemaker, John Cena, was asked what advice he would give to younger actors. While Cena said he doesn’t like to give advice, he did recount a time when he was nearly released during his early days with WWE, and said that he believes hard work will bring opportunity.
“I hate giving advice because everyone’s got to find their own path. But if young performers are concerned, I think a good place to start is great work begets opportunity. You will get another chance. I was not the WWE’s first pick, I was their last pick. And I was going to be fired. But they gave me one chance, and then they gave me one more, and then they gave me a free run on their Saturday show, and then they moved me to Smackdown, and then they moved me to RAW.
“And then more opportunities came, and more opportunities came, and right when I thought ‘man, this is the zenith of all the opportunities’, a whole other door opens up. And the opportunity is ‘you come on in, but you’ve got to start at zero.’ So you’ve got to be brave enough to say ‘okay, good work is going to beget opportunity.’”
John Cena went on to recall a conversation he had with his agent and friend, Dan Baime, when he thought his failures in acting up to that point meant he was unlikely to get work in movies again.
“Because I tried this thing before and failed, and I remember having a conversation, an honest conversation with my friend and confidant, someone I love very much, Dan Baime, in 2009 I think it was. I looked him straight in the eye and said ‘Dan, we’re never doing movies again, are we?’ And he’s my agent and he says ‘no, we’re not.’
“And he was genuine because we work on honesty. We always have. But even in his mind, he was like ‘no we’re not. But we’ll find a way. Don’t worry about it. We’ll find what you love, and we’ll go after what you love.’ We had a very long way of doing things, but here we are over a decade later, and imagine that. I love this all the time, I just needed it taken from me to realize how much I loved it.”
Turning back to young performers, Cena says people should just do the best they can and either they’ll find work or find out what to do better next time. He also revealed the greatest piece of advice he ever received, which came from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
“But I think to young performers, just do the best you can, don’t worry about it. Vince McMahon gave me the best advice I’ve ever been given. ‘Give your all to what you do, promote to the absolute utmost, don’t leave anything on the table, and then move forward.’ If you give it your all, you’ll find a taker. You’ll find what you can do better next time.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc for the above transcription.