F9: The Fast Saga star John Cena has revealed how he nabbed the role of Jacob Toretto, the younger brother of Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto.
In a recent chat with E! News, the actor revealed why his journey to playing the character was a unique experience for him, disclosing that he was initially told that Diesel wanted to speak with him.
Little did the former wrestler know that Diesel was considering him for the part of his onscreen younger brother who would be pitted against him in the ninth film of the franchise.
Vin Diesel and John Cena in F9: THE FAST SAGA
"I wasn't just offered the role", Cena recalls. "It was actually, 'Hey, Vin Diesel would like to talk to you,' and I had no idea what it was about. And I met Vin at his training center, which was staggering, to say the least, and we just spoke. We spoke as two humans for a little under two hours. And then at the end, he took a small social media video."
Rather than Diesel coming out to reveal why he was having the meeting with Cena, he opted to have an assessment of the latter's passion for what the film stands for.
Diesel and Cena | Image Source: China Daily
"He was sizing up my character and interviewing the individual as to like, 'Hey, does he even like this stuff? Would he even be interested in something like this—like, genuinely interested?", continued Cena.
"And then thereafter, I was offered a part, and I didn't know what I was doing, and then when I read the script, I was like, 'I'm Jacob Toretto? Wow.'"
Speaking on meeting with Cena on that fateful day, Diesel said that when he shared a video of the moment on his Instagram page, he chose to caption it in a way that referenced his late co-star and friend Paul Walker.
Diesel said, "I didn't give it much thought because if you go back to that day—and it's all on Instagram—you'll see what I captioned, which was, 'Thank you, Pablo.'"
'Pablo' is the affectionate way the bald movie star chooses to call the late Walker, who he says led Cena to him that day.
"Because I felt like, like always, Pablo came through and helped me with the casting of Jacob, and he became Jacob", he added.
F9: The Fast Saga arrives in cinemas on June 25, 2021.