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This post is in partnership with Paramount Pictures
I recently attended a press junket and visited the set of the Playing with Fire Movie starring John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, Dennis Haybert, and Judy Greer.
I was thrilled to be able to interview co-stars John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer plus director Andy Fickman and producer Todd Garner.
When straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson (John Cena) and his elite team of expert firefighters (Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, and Tyler Mane) come to the rescue of three siblings (Brianna Hildebrand, Christian Convery, and Finley Rose Slater) in the path of an encroaching wildfire, they quickly realize that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet – babysitters. Unable to locate the children’s parents, the firefighters have their lives, jobs and even their fire depot turned upside down and quickly learn that kids – much like fires –are wild and unpredictable.
John Cena (actor and professional wrestler) sat down with us and gave us a no-holds-barred look into his mindset on his decision-making process of choosing to do movies like Bumblebee and Playing with Fire that are appropriate for both tweens and teens.
I’ve done some adult comedies which are very funny. I’ve done some straight action movies. The thing about movies like this and like Bumblebee–the thing that–the common thread those have in common–there’s another one coming up after this with Netflix that has the same sort of ethos to it–it is a great read, those things that kind of make you–reading a script is tough, especially if the script is energetic.
So, when you get a story about, you know–this one hit me especially hard because it’s a story about a gentleman who is dedicated to his work and thinks there is nothing else in life except work and then gets a set of circumstances that change his mind.
And that’s like exactly where I am in my life right now. So, when you read something, and you get emotionally charged by the words, when movie magic takes over, it’s awesome. And I think that’s what you see right now because everyone–and we have a great group, we have a great director. Everyone kind of knows who they are.
And they also–make no mistake about it–they also know what movie we’re making. We don’t get these funny gifted people who also want to come on the movie and turn it into something that isn’t appropriate for kids and teens.
So, a lot of times, you know, if that’s the only comedic tool you have in your tool box, then you change the scope of the movie, and it’s not as heartfelt. Playing with Fire is a heartfelt, wholesome movie about the importance of family, friends, and togetherness.
Playing with Fire
Directed by: Andy Fickman
Executive Produced by: Mark Moran
Produced by: Todd Garner, Sean Robins
Story by: Dan Ewen
Screenplay by: Dan Ewen and Matthew Lieberman
Starring: John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, Dennis Haybert, Judy Greer
Producer Todd Garner has over 150 movies under his belt including Daddy Daycare, Game Plan, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Pacifier to name a few. When asked why he wanted John Cena for the lead role (Jake Carson) in the movie, Todd Garner said:
When you think about our movies Game Plan and Pacifier, they are about tough guys that you would drop into any situation. They can handle everything except for parenting. So, we always knew we wanted a guy like him. When I made my deal at Paramount, knowing that John has this really great relationship with Nickelodeon and also with Make A Wish, he was our first choice and we got him.
I must say although I love all of the actors we interviewed, I was most excited to meet Keegan-Michael Key (actor, comedian, writer, and producer). He is hilarious in everything that he does and I have followed him since I first saw him on Key & Peele. Such a wonderful person in real life and happy to answer any questions we asked. When asked why he accepted the role, he replied:
I’ve met John Cena a couple of times, and we’ve gotten along very well. And that was–that was part of my decision. I feel like I’ve just reached that age where I’m only willing to do things that are going to give me joy.
Judy Greer is another dear and she has become a dear friend of mine. We’ve crossed paths a lot professionally, and so to have the opportunity to work together was really fantastic.
It’s always personnel with me. It’s who am I going to be interacting with on a daily basis for a good chunk of my year (filming the movie).
Playing with Fire hits movie theatres on November 8th and I can't wait to see it! From the hilarity that we saw on set between all of the actors, it is going to be the must-see comedy of 2019.
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Written by Autumn Murray, Lead Travel Writer for Divine Lifestyle and the Founder of Simply Amazing Living Online Lifestyle Magazine.
Read more of her articles at Simply Amazing Living.
I really want to watch this movie, it looks like a really good one, and my family will love it for sure
I haven’t heard about this until now! Looks like a fun movie!
Oh my god that is so cool that you got to interview them!! I love their work and can’t wait to see what they put out with this one!
I am looking forward to watching this movie. It sounds like a fun movie.
How amazing that you got to interview them. I’d never heard of the film either till now so will definitley be interested in watching it.
Looks like an interesting plot. I’d be down to see this!
I have honestly not watch a good movie in a LONG time is. I will definitely check out this one!
I love John Cena! This movie looks so incredibly cute and I really want to see it.
Playing with Fire Movie is something I didn’t know before! Thanks for the trailer. It sparked an interest to me. I want to watch it now!
This is going to give me something to look forward to. I’m crazy about movies and am always looking for new ones coming out.
Definitely setting a date to watch this movie when it comes out as I’ve loved the other movies produced by Todd Garner. And what an awesome experience to get to interview movie stars.
Oh I def want to see this! It looks so good, the entire family will like it!
Sounds like it’s a fun, yet emotional movie. I loved the interviews and the trailer. Can’t wait to see this!
This looks like a super fun movie! I would love to see it with my family. We love movies like this!
Oh my goodness! How cool is it that you got to interview them?! I love it! Congratulations. The movie looks awesome ♡
Definitely will be seeing this. Looks like a great family movie.
I bet this is going to be a good movie. I love seeing new movies!
Ha ha ha….I just can’t stop laughing…..I must watch this movie.
So cool you were able to interview them! I like to hear about the behind the scenes info. I’ll be on the lookout for this movie!
This looks like it’s going to be such an awesome movie! I can’t wait until it hits theatres.
Wow, I would love to see this movie, Playing with Fire! I am a John Leguizamo fan and would be exited to see him in this role.
This looks like such a cute family movie! Can’t wait to see it!
I’m so excited. I can’t wait for the release of this one.
Ohhh I am definitely watching this. Looking at the trailer already made me laugh so I’m looking forward to watching this.
Wow another John Cena movie, I’ve watched some of his past movies and I like them! This is another movie I must watch soon, and look entertaining 😀