Actor calls episode "a big gamble" by writer-director James Gunn.

Peacemaker (TV series)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season 1 finale of Peacemaker.

Well, now we know why Peacemaker actor Steve Agee told EW that writer-director James Gunn was "giddy" shooting the season 1 finale of the HBO Max show. Thursday's episode saw John Cena's titular superhero and the rest of the show's black ops team engaged in a bloody face-off against the people-possessing extraterrestrial "butterflies." But we're guessing what made Gunn really happy was convincing the DCEU head honchos to have the Justice League belatedly turn up at the end and allow Cena's character to insult Jason Momoa's Aquaman in typically crude fashion ("Go f--- another fish, asshole.")

Earlier today, EW spoke with Cena about that moment, the news of the show's renewal, and his just-announced movie Coyote vs. Acme.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What do you remember about shooting the finale?

JOHN CENA: I remember a moment that will certainly have the internet talking. I still don't want to spoil anything for anybody. I just remember the evening that we filmed that moment and knowing that it gave a certain validity to Peacemaker. I felt very proud of that moment. I thought it was a big gamble by James, but he gambles big a lot, and I'm really glad it paid off. I'm really thankful for everyone, knowing they didn't have to be involved. I haven't had a chance to meet everybody involved and thank them in person but I'm so very grateful for us to be able to capture that moment, because that [lifted] Peacemaker up quite substantially in the superhero hierarchy.

How much fun was it to say the line, "Go f--- another fish asshole"?

Man, like I said, I was very proud of that moment for what it represented. I think a thread through all the episodes was Peacemaker's jealousy towards all these superheroes. He just wants to belong, he just wants to fit in, and I think that was a great way of expressing that he's been through hell and back, and saying he was finally on everyone's level, or at least in his eyes he is. It's just a joke, and certainly one that has a lot of folks talking, because people feel a certain way about it, and I think that's very interesting, but it's not just a joke. It's [about] Peacemaker's jealousy for the other superheroes.

This was a very action-heavy episode. What was that like to shoot?

It was fun. If you watch Peacemaker in its totality there's a ton of action in it, but a lot of it is us getting our asses kicked. We kind of "live to fight another day" a lot and this is the first time you can see everybody unleashed. I'm glad it built up to the end and you really get to see why some of the main players were put on the team in the first place.

It was nice to see all the jokes throughout the season about Steve Agee's John Economos dyeing his beard paying off and in a surprisingly emotional fashion.

Yeah. You know what? I just had a long conversation with my wife about that, because originally, when I read the scripts, that joke stood out, but not in a funny way. I think that's brilliant, because Peacemaker is a bully, and a lot of times that bully-type personality isn't really the wittiest, it's not like the bully can do a half-an-hour stand-up set, and the stuff that they says isn't really funny. It's also offensive. People around [Peacemaker] are like, 'yo, you shouldn't be saying this, not only is it not funny, it's offensive.' I loved Steve's monologue in the finale because it really allowed Peacemaker to reflect on like, I've been busting this guy's balls, thinking that's how we kind of bond, and all the while he's been telling me he doesn't like it, but I've just brushed it off. I thought it was great because that joke is not funny for a reason and it showcases Peacemaker's bully personality. At all costs, he wants to put people below him for his own self-confidence. I thought Steve just knocked it out of the park, I thought it was really brilliant.

James Gunn confirmed yesterday that there is going to be a second season of Peacemaker, congratulations! Have you talked with him about what that might involve?

I have a lot of conversations with James and the words "thank you" and "grateful" come up a whole hell of a lot. James Gunn literally changed the trajectory of my life, and I thank him every day, and I have full faith and trust in him, and I'm not going to badger him about what season 2 is about. I know he's got his plate full right now (Gunn is currently shooting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), and I know he wouldn't sign on to something if he didn't have an idea. So I won't ask him anything. He's just going to send me the script one day and that's the signal to get the band back together, no questions asked. That's how the first one came about, that's how The Suicide Squad came about, and that approach hasn't failed me yet.

Would you like to see Harcourt and Peacemaker try to make it as a couple?

Having spent a whole lot of time with WWE, we have a term called "fantasy booking" where you make the matches you want to see. That's all well and good, and it's fun to talk about, but I don't make the matches! I'm a performer. So, my answer is irrelevant because I'm not writing the story. We can talk about it all day but it would have no sense of authenticity because I don't control those choices.

It has been announced that you will be starring in a new Looney Tunes film called Coyote vs. Acme. Can you tell us anything about that?

Man, I'm very fortunate because it's a different role for me, so I can't wait. I'm able to do a smaller film called The Independent, which is a different role for me, and Peacemaker has been an entirely different role for me. A lot of audience members have a different perspective of what I can offer and that's a really tough hill to climb. Acme vs. Coyote is one of those situations. I'm really happy that Warner Bros. gave me another opportunity to be involved with something that. Like I said, it's a different role for me and hopefully it will have the same result as Peacemaker, it will be a chance to hone my craft on something a little different. I'm really excited for it.

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Peacemaker (TV series)

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