What Jennifer Holland Had To Say About Working With John Cena

We all know John Cena. Following in the vein of Dave Bautista and superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Cena took a stellar WWE career and used it to pave the way to becoming a film actor. Though far from his first movie, "The Suicide Squad" showcased Cena's knack for comedy while giving him something meatier to chew on as the insanely problematic-yet-entertaining Peacemaker. After the success of the movie, Cena headlined a series as Peacemaker for HBO Max, which, despite some controversy, proved popular among both critics and audiences, per Rotten Tomatoes.

"Peacemaker" established itself as a potential cornerstone for the DC Extended Universe, with certain characters popping up in the latest DC film, "Black Adam." Additionally, "The Suicide Squad" director and "Peacemaker" showrunner, James Gunn, was named co-chair and CEO of DC Studios, meaning more Cena on our screens is a likelihood (via Hollywood Reporter). As for Cena's perspective, he is excited about exploring the character more. While the show pushes boundaries, the Massachusetts native told Collider that its core theme of "potential for growth, potential for development, potential for exploration" made "Peacemaker" a worthwhile series.

Though the HBO Max show made audiences see Cena in a new light, how did his costars feel about him? One actor, in particular, Jennifer Holland, had a lot to say about the wrestler-turned-movie star.

Jennifer Holland dishes on John Cena

First appearing in a small role in "The Suicide Squad," Jennifer Holland, the better half of director James Gunn, starred opposite John Cena in "Peacemaker." Unsurprisingly, the actor had a lot to say about the WWE star, who she called "a larger-than-life celebrity."

Though she met him on "The Suicide Squad," Holland told LA Confidential that she "didn't know what to expect," but Cena "is just the most wonderful person that we could have ever gotten to be the lead of our series." She elaborated that he was always the first to show up on set and "gave 150 percent all the time." Discussing the 45-year-old's work ethic, Holland explained that "it kind of permeates through the whole cast and crew what that person in the main role brings to work every single day; he's a consummate professional." She then praised his comedy, stating that "his brain is a never-ending trove of improv." 

Holland went on to add, "I've learned a lot from him and I hope to God that someday again I'll get to work with John because he's just the greatest." In another interview with Looper, she discussed how there was "so much more depth to him, and he was capable of so much more in terms of the types of performances that he has ever been able to get the chance to play." The 34-year-old actor feels that was the crux of what Gunn wanted to do: Showcase the side of Cena we don't see often.

Why Jennifer Holland feels like there's more to John Cena

In addition to being an ideal coworker, Jennifer Holland purports that John Cena is an all-around good guy. Speaking with W Magazine, she revealed the moment in which she realized he was the real deal.

"We were at the bar in that bar scene for hours, just sitting there while they were lighting us and setting up the cameras," Holland explained. While waiting, they were "just kind of shooting the s***," giving her " a glimpse into what type of person he is." To the actor, Cena is "one of the most down-to-earth guys" and is "so dedicated to self-improvement." She appreciated how he was a "great friend," and was emotionally available even during a long day on set. "It's just not a place where you would expect someone to start asking, 'How can I be a more well-rounded person? How can I be more empathetic towards other people?' Those are all the questions he's asking himself all the time," she said. 

The Illinois native isn't the only one who praised Cena. James Gunn also had nothing but compliments for the "Peacemaker" star. "I think John is one of the best overall talents I've ever worked with — he's capable of dramatic depths I don't think any of his films have yet shown — and he's the BEST improvisational actor I've worked with by a country mile," Gunn told Cinema Blend. He added that Cena is "just a great dude."

Does John Cena measure up to Jennifer Holland's praise?

Bearing all this in mind, John Cena didn't always have such a sterling reputation. From a bizarre beef with the Chinese government to an insensitive tweet about the Russo-Ukrainian War, the former wrestler has had a number of controversies. 

Easily his most well-known was his feud with fellow wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Per Bleacher Report, the whole thing started when Cena called out the Rock for focusing on his film career and not returning for Wrestlemania in 2008, which eventually led the two to duke it out in the ring. However, they ultimately buried the hatchet, with Cena apologizing for speaking out of ignorance (via CinemaBlend).

Despite his faux pas, the Massachusetts native seems to measure up to Holland's words. Not only did he admit his wrongdoings toward the Rock, but he also prioritizes doing the right thing. For proof, look no further than his status as the record-holder for most wishes granted through Make-A-Wish, with a staggering total of over 650 (via The Guardian). Though he'll always be remembered for his time in the ring, perhaps Cena is more of a lover than a fighter.