John Cena says his Barbie casting was a "happy accident" – thanks to Fast 10

John Cena and Vin Diesel in Fast 9
(Image credit: Universal)

John Cena has explained the unlikely reason behind his casting as Merman Ken in the new Barbie movie.

"It was a happy accident," Cena told the Today Show. "I think Barbie and Fast 10 share a lot of parallels: their cast list is amazing… so with a lot of opportunity, there’s a chance to say, 'Hey, maybe there’s a chance for me to do something?'"

A chance run-in with Margot Robbie led to the role, with Cena saying he would do "whatever you guys need" to appear in the Greta Gerwig-directed Barbie.

"We randomly ran into each other as friends," Cena added. "Fast 10 was filming across the street from Barbie." The rest, as they say, is Barbie history.

Cena joins a stacked cast of playmates in the Barbie movie, which is set for release on July 21.

Lead Margot Robbie is joined by fellow Barbies Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Emma Mackey, and Dua Lipa. Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Ncuti Gatwa help round out the Ken side of the equation.

Fast 10, meanwhile, is racing into theaters on May 19. Set to mark the beginning of the end of the Fast Saga, Cena returns as Dom’s villainous brother Jakob from Fast 9 – though this time in a role he describes as more of a "cool uncle."

Vin Diesel has recently suggested that Fast 10 – initially mooted as the first of a two-parter to end the Fast and Furious franchise – could be a part of a trilogy instead.

Whether it’s the end of the road or if the Fast series finds an extra gear remains to be seen. In the meantime, check out all the upcoming movies coming your way very soon.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.