John Cena Reveals He Got His 'A** Kicked Every Day' as a Kid (Exclusive)


The 40-year-old actor also dishes on how fiancee Nikki Bella changed his idea of what a 'tough guy' is.

John Cena may look intimidating, but he couldn't be more of a softie. 

The 40-year-old actor graces the cover of Parade's latest issue, and inside the magazine, he reveals that he wasn't always as tough as he appears to be. 

"I got my a** kicked every day," Cena recalls of his childhood, when he said he used to dress like "MC Hammer and Kid 'n Play on a collision course." "[I had my] hair stuck straight up, dyed at the top...I had the rayon pants -- mustard polka dot -- and the airbrushed overalls."

So, the WWE star got beat up -- but he's definitely not crying about it. "It kinda made me who I am," he confesses, revealing that after one fight in particular, he begged his dad to "buy me a set of weights" -- and has been building muscle ever since. 


Now, Cena does what he can to inspire other kids. He's donated around 575 wishes to sick children through Make-A-Wish, the most ever in the organization's history. 

"The excitement, it's indescribable," he shares of fulfilling kids' dreams. "That I'm at the very end of the story, as the wish? That's absurd to think about." 

Kids will also get the opportunity to see Cena on the big screen (well, a version of him, anyway), as he voices Ferdinand the bull, the titular character in the upcoming animated movie. 

"I have been living the story of Ferdinand my entire life," he says. "He is big and clumsy and vulnerable. He's not afraid to laugh at himself."

Before Ferdinand's December release, however, Cena has a few wedding details to work out with his fiancee, Nikki Bella. 

"I keep telling her, 'I'll do it tomorrow.' I'm ready," he shares, before crediting Bella for changing his idea of what it means to be a "tough guy." 

"In the WWE, oftentimes you want people to think, "Oh, I'm a tough guy,'" he says. "[Now I know that] a tough guy is somebody who can hold a woman's hand." 

Parade magazine is in newspapers this weekend. 

See more on Cena and Bella's upcoming nuptials in the video below.