John Cena says he can’t take the credit for Peacemaker being bisexual

peacemaker
HBO/DCEU

Peacemaker added various new dimensions to its title character across the eight episodes of its first season, and just one of these was the exploration of his sexuality. The show flirted with the idea that Christopher Smith might not be straight a couple of times, via a brief line alluding to romances with men and then a quick cutaway gag of him in bed with both a woman and Vigilante, before it was outright confirmed in episode seven that Peacemaker was bisexual.

Fans were thrilled at the revelation, even though it came out in a less than wholesome way — Smith’s evil father White Dragon berated his son for sleeping with women of color and men. Creator James Gunn subsequently credited star John Cena for developing this element of the character by performing him as a “hyper-sexualized dude that is open to anything sexually.” While talking to People, however, Cena has played down his own role in this and praised Gunn for the decision instead.

“I think, ultimately, that was James’s choice,” Cena said. “I know he’s given me the credit for that. I just wanted this guy to have so much about himself to figure out. On the surface, he appears to be: what you see is what you get. And I think a lot of the audience who had seen The Suicide Squad, when we announced that there was a Peacemaker spin-off, a lot of them were upset because their first impression was their total impression. What we see is what we get: We see a bad guy with no redeemable qualities.”

Cena went on to stress that what he really wanted to do was surprise audiences with his portrayal by revealing fresh sides to the anti-hero.

“But when you dive into Peacemaker, the series, you see a human being that is like all of the rest of us,” Cena said. “We are using our time here to simply try to figure out what the hell is going on. I thought that was a very unique added dimension, especially because of the snap judgment first impression you get when looking at the Peacemaker character.”

The former WWE star cited the subtle way Chris’ sexuality is revealed as something he really likes, as it allows for viewers to infer things about his romantic past for themselves.

“I’ve got to give James the credit for grabbing the ball and running with it,” he added. “What I like most about it, it just is. It allows the audience to come to their own conclusions and that’s okay. Very much of our show certainly approaches a lot of sensitive subject matter, but it simply just is. Again, it allowed the audience to make their own conclusions.”

Cena might like that the character’s sexuality was confirmed in such a low-key way, but a lot of fans would definitely like this to be something that is further explored in the series’ second season, which was officially greenlit earlier this month. Some even want a Peacemaker/Vigilante relationship, although Cena’s co-star Freddie Stroma doesn’t believe that Chris harbors any secret deeper feelings for his buddy Adrian. But, who knows, Peacemaker has surprised us before.