John Cena and the 'Peacemaker' cast reveal the most bonkers moments from James Gunn's hit series
Since its premiere on Jan. 13, James Gunn's screwball superhero saga Peacemaker has powered its way to the top of the streaming charts — not just in America, but all over the world. A spinoff of the director's Suicide Squad reboot, the HBO Max series, which just scored a second season renewal, combines his typically irreverent humor with a dramatic father/son story, deep-cut pulls from the DC Comics archives and wild OMG moments that blows the internet's collective mind week after week.
With the Season 1 finale airing on Feb. 17, Yahoo Entertainment asked the Peacemaker cast — including star John Cena — to pick their most bonkers moments from a totally bonkers show. If you haven't already been following along with the series, their answers will convince you to start your pre-finale binge... right now. (Watch our interviews above.)
For Cena, the series premiere offered a crash course in the craziness that was in store for his alter ego, Christopher Smith — the helmeted Suicide Squad supervillain whose first solo adventure transforms him into a vigilante who's a little bit more heroic. That episode ends with Peacemaker having sex with a woman he meets in a bar (played by Crystal Mudry) who turns out to be possessed by a super-strong Butterfly — the alien species at the center of the show's story. Chris then has a knock-down drag-out fight that takes him from her apartment to a parking lot... all while in his tighty-whities.
"It was good for muscle soreness in the joints," the wrestler-turned-actor says, laughing. "It was like taking an ice bath. Crystal — the gifted performer that kicked my ass — had to do a little bit more action. I pretty much had to sit on a piece of concrete and talk to a grey-shaped bowling pin that was supposed to be an eagle. So I'm out there in my underwear and my helmet and just having a moment with my best friend, whereas Crystal had to do a whole lot more!"
Jennifer Holland — who plays one of Peacemaker's team members on Project Butterfly — remembers being impressed by Cena and Mudry's willingness to battle the elements in their skivvies. "John is in his underwear in Vancouver during 20-degree weather," she marvels. "I mean, they should get some sort of award for having to endure that. It was amazing."
Meanwhile, Freddie Stroma points to the third episode as containing their craziest respective moments. That's the installment where Stroma's sociopathic vigilante named, well, Vigilante, spends some time in a torture chamber and makes some wild faces as he's being worked over.
"I just remember James coming over to me and being like, 'I want you to make the most embarrassing faces you can possibly make,'" Stroma recalls. "And I was like, 'I'm going for it.' I think they got a few chuckles behind the camera, and I was like 'OK, this is good.' I'm letting it all out there, and all the time I was thinking, 'Man, this is gonna be some kind of GIF or something.'" (For the record, he's not wrong.)
But the winner of the show's Most Bonkers Moment has to be Steve Agee. In Peacemaker's fifth episode, the comedian — who plays nerdy Project Butterfly teammate John Economos — takes a chainsaw to a rampaging gorilla, dispatching it in hilariously bloody fashion. "That was probably the craziest thing," he says, laughing. "When I read it in the script, I was like, 'I can't wait for this day. I don't know how we're gonna do it, but I can't wait for it.' That's easily the craziest thing I've ever had to do." Just don't boast about that in Sigourney Weaver's midst.
Peacemaker is currently streaming on HBO Max.
— Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by Jimmie Rhee