John Cena Improvised His Pop Culture-Filled Rant in Episode 5 of Peacemaker

One of the highlights from the most recent episode of Peacemaker is a long rant from John Cena where he just names off a bunch of celebrities and fictional characters. According to star Steve Agee, Cena improvised this entire rant and James Gunn encouraged him to go as long as he wanted to.

Agee plays John Economos in Peacemaker, reprising his role from The Suicide Squad. The actor was also the stand-in for King Shark, who was later voiced by Sylvester Stallone. Gunn and Agee have collaborated on several other projects including Super, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Brightburn.

The rant in Peacemaker episode 5 comes after Economos and Peacemaker get into a verbal argument over Economos sending Peacemaker’s dad (Robert Patrick) to prison. Economos says he could not think of anyone else to frame and, in response to that, Peacemaker goes on an epic rant where he seemingly just lists whatever famous person comes to his head, whether they be alive, dead, or fictional. The rant is featured in the episode and also appears as a post-credit scene.


Steve Agee Says Cena Just ‘Kept Going’


In an interview with Screenrant, Agee confirms that Cena improvised this rant, going way off-script. According to Agee, the script only mentioned Ariana Grande and one other celebrity, but Gunn told Cena to really go as far as he wanted in terms of listing people.

“That was all improvised. I think in the original script, he’s mad at me for framing his father – rightfully so, that was stupid – but in the script, it was just like, ‘Why couldn’t you have framed somebody like Ariana Great? ‘ And there was one other name, like Tom Hanks or something, and I was like, ‘You want me to frame Ariana Grande for murder? Are you insane?’ But James was like, ‘Just keep going. Start naming names. Just name people.’ I mean, we shot it for like 20 minutes of John just shouting random names – sports figures, celebrities, singers, politicians – and I would start to say something and he’s just like, ‘Let me finish!’ “He just kept going and it was phenomenal. I haven’t seen the end credits scene yet, but I think there’s more of it in the end credits, seeing him just spouting names.”

Cena has shown a knack for comedy from his performances in movies like Trainwreck and Blockers. The wrestler-turned-actor also has shown his quick-wit in various interviews, and he even once hosted Saturday Night Live. Gunn has mentioned in the past that he has kept more of Cena’s improvised work than any other actor, proven here as this rant appeared twice in the episode.

Peacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max with new episodes premiering every Thursday.

Peacemaker Trailer Takes John Cena Back to the Beginning
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