In today’s entertainment industry, it isn’t uncommon for performers to try their hand at crafts other than those they became famous for. It seems that one of the arts that everyone in the industry takes a shot at is acting. Some are able to actually make a name for themselves on the big screen.
This has been the case for two professional wrestlers that took a chance outside of the ring and it paid off. John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were already known around the world for the techniques in the ring. It was their ability to transfer that talent to movies that brought them wider acclaim.
John Cena was born in Massachusetts in 1977. He debuted as a professional wrestler in 1999 for the UPW franchise. His trash-talking persona made him popular among fans.
Talented in the ring, John knew he could do more than wrestle. In 2000, he made his acting debut in Ready to Rumble as an uncredited gym patron. He has had many roles in his nearly two decades in film. Some roles were better than others. Here is a list of his top five films.
10 12 Rounds (2009)
Playing the lead in this action film, written by Daniel Kunka, John Cena is Officer Danny Fisher. When an operation to apprehend a weapons dealer goes wrong, Fisher and his partner pick up the case and find themselves assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The criminal is apprehended and Fisher gets a promotion.
A year later, the criminal breaks out of jail, and his first order of business is to get even with Fisher. This action-packed movie didn’t do very well on Rotten Tomatoes. However, to fans, it's one of John Cena’s best roles and the fans are all that matters!
9 The Wall (2017)
This thriller was written by Dwain Worrell and directed by Doug Liman. Cena plays Staff Sergeant Shane Matthews in the midst of the Iraqi War. Along with his spotter, the Army sniper is given orders to check out a construction site in the desert.
After waiting nearly an entire day and determining that the site is clear, Matthews is shot by an enemy sniper. The two men are separated and unfortunately, Matthews fate isn’t good. This is another fan favorite that barely made a sound on the Rotten Tomatoes radar. Yet, we all know that not every critic will like what fans love.
8 Trainwreck (2015)
John Cena plays alongside Amy Schumer and Bill Haden in this rom-com about a promiscuous, men’s magazine article writer. Cena plays the role of Steven, with whom Schumer’s character is in a not-so-committed relationship with.
Steven’s initial attraction to Amy, also the character’s name, was that she was manly looking. Amy cheats on Steve by sleeping with a sports doctor that she is interviewing for the magazine. Needless to say, that’s the end of Steve. The movie earned high scores from critics, with an 85 percent score given by Rotten Tomatoes and Roger Ebert ranking it a three out of four.
7 Blockers (2018)
John assumes a parental role, as Mitchell Mannes, in this comedy film. Three teenage girls who became friends the first day of kindergarten are all grown up and going to prom.
Although one of them is in the closet, they all make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night. The parents spend the movie trying to prevent it from happening. Fans embraced the movie because of its relatable plot. Even Rotten Tomatoes had to give it a thumbs up with a score of 83 percent. This will be recorded as one of the roles that helped solidify Cena’s acting career.
6 Bumblebee (2018)
It goes without saying that Transformers movies have always been a big hit. With this movie focusing on Bumblebee, one of the most loveable of the Transformer characters, how could John Cena go wrong?
In the 6th installment of the series, Cena is cast as Colonel Jack Burns. The Colonel also doubles as an agent of “Sector 7.” The movie is full of explosive action, which Cena is perfect for because of his athleticism. Of course, Rotten Tomatoes had to love the film. It was given a near-perfect score of 93 percent.
5 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was born in California in 1972 and made his way onto the wrestling scene in 1996, signing on with the WWE. However, wrestling wasn’t Dwayne’s first choice—football was. He’d entered the NFL draft the year before he secured his wrestling contract.
His catchphrase, “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?” will always be attached to his persona. He got his first leading role on the big screen in 2002 as The Scorpion King. It's only been up for him from there. Here is a list of his top five films.
This comedy is the 3rd installment of the franchise and a sequel to the 1995 production. The franchise is based on a children’s book from the early ’80s. Four teens are transported to the land of Jumanji through a video game. They must play as the avatar that they picked at the beginning of the game. The only way to get home is to win.
Johnson’s character, Dr. Smolder Bravestone, a courageous and capable archeologist, represents Spencer in the game. Robin Williams’ was in the first installation and is remembered in the movie through mention of his character and use of the piece that he used to play the game.
4 Gridiron Gang (2006)
In this family drama, Dwayne Johnson is Sean Porter, a counselor at a juvenile detention center. As a means to teach discipline and give the young men the opportunity to feel as though they are a part of something, he puts together a football team. Through the sport, he builds a bond with the hardcore boys, proving that everyone deserves someone in their corner and a second chance.
This is one of the movies that allows Johnson to show his more serious acting chops through some of its emotional scenes. It is definitely one of the movies that will make him memorable as an actor.
3 Furious Seven (2015)
Furious 7 is the 8th highest-grossing movie in film history. It's the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious franchise and sees the longtime members of Vin Diesel’s crew return to “normal” lives. After successfully helping Dwayne Johnson’s character in the previous installment, the crew members are given amnesty and are free and clear.
Unfortunately, ormal life doesn’t last long. The team is targeted by a special force mercenary gone bad. It is now time for Hobb’s to return the favor and help the team. This installment was the last for Paul Walker, who was killed in a car accident after the movie was filmed. It was credited in memory of him.
2 Fast and Furious Six (2013)
Johnson again takes the role of Luke Hobbs in the sixth installment of the franchise. This film was intended to give the franchise longevity by changing themes. It left the street racing behind and incorporated more adventure. The agent is now teaming up with Vin Diesel’s character in an effort to catch a group of mercenaries.
With a bigger role in this installment, Johnson had more screen time to show off his acting abilities. Although critics had some issues with certain aspects of the film, the fans loved it. That was proven by the $788.7M it made at the box office.
1 Fast Five (2011)
The role of security service agent, Luke Hobbs, was originally intended for Tommy Lee Jones. However, fans had been yearning to see Dwayne Johnson on the big screen with Vin Diesel and let it be known via social media.
The role was redeveloped to give the fans what they wanted. He took the role of ex-bounty hunter turned federal marshall very seriously. However, his one-liners throughout the movie kept viewers in stitches. The film follows a group of street racers plotting a heist to get out from under the thumb of a dangerous drug kingpin. It was the fifth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise.