It’s not the Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading, but “Murn After Reading”, the sixth episode of Peacemaker, had its fair share of surprises, most of which were – as usual – positive. But, one moment from this episode had fans especially excited and that was the scene where we saw John Cena’s Peacemaker playing the piano. Now, most actors don’t really know how to play instruments so they either just act it out or are replaced by an actual musician whose face is hidden during the scene. But, did John Cena actually play the piano in Peacemaker? Keep reading to find out.
John Cena actually did play the piano in the sixth episode of Peacemaker, “Murn After Reading”. John Cena had learned to play the piano before and it was actually him playing the tune in that episode, so the playing wasn’t faked. The song he was playing was a slower, instrumental version of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home”.
This article is going to tell you everything you need to know about John Cena, his piano playing and the authenticity of the piano scene in Episode 6 of the Peacemaker series. John Cena is a pretty versatile guy and he has destroyed prejudice on several occasions, proving that big guys, former wrestlers, can be more than one thing and can have exceptional talents. Let us see how that connects to the Peacemaker series.
Did John Cena actually play the piano in Peacemaker Episode 6?
If you’ve seen Peacemaker Episode 6, you saw Christopher Smith, the titular vigilante, play the piano. Now, playing the piano is nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s not really something you’d expect from a comic book vigilante, especially someone with a profile and background like Peacemaker. He’s more of a Rocky Balboa meets John Rambo type of character, so you wouldn’t really expect the guy to play the piano.
But, he actually did. In this episode, we see Peacemaker play the piano and it’s not just your regular piano-playing scene. You probably know that a lot of actors “played” the piano, but most of them don’t really know how to do it, which is why you never actually see their faces and their hands on the piano in the same scene. You see them acting like they’re playing the piano and you see the hands, but the hands are usually those of a professional piano player who is doubling for the actor.
This makes sense, you know! Okay, if an actor is not a pianist, he certainly cannot perform some complex compositions, which is why a double is hired, but even if an actor manages to learn a simpler composition, it is better to hire a professional because he has the experience that an actor doesn’t, and the scene simply wouldn’t be authentic enough.
A great example of this is The Talented Mr. Ripley, a movie in which the titular antihero, played by Matt Damon, plays the piano. Although Matt Damon had learned to play his piano part, the director, Anthony Minghella, refused to allow him to play because he did not feel safe, and it was a good choice in our opinion. On the other hand, when Roman Polanski filmed his movie The Pianist, Adrien Brody actually did film his own piano playing scenes and had spent months practicing so his strokes would be realistic, but it was ultimately Janusz Olejniczak whose hands we saw in the close-ups and whose playing was dubbed over Brody’s in the final cut.
One rare example of an actor who actualy can play the piano and is great at it is Hugh Laurie, whose portrayals of Bertie Wooster in Jeeves And Wooster and Gregory House in House, M.D., are a notable example of an actor actually doing their own piano parts. But, Laurie is a jazz musician with his own solo albums and that is not a surprise.
So, what about John Cena? We know that he wasn’t doubled by someone, that much is obvious, seeing how we actually see him play the piano, and not just his hands. But, was he dubbed over with someone else’s playing or was it actually him? The slower tempo certainly is something Cena could play if he knows how to play the piano in real life – but does he!?
He does! It actually is John Cena playing the piano in the famous scene from Episode 6 and that is simply amazing! John Cena has proven himself to be a multi-talented guy and this is one great example of his versatility as an actor and entertainer.
Did Cena know how to play the piano or did he learn it for Peacemaker?
In case you were wondering whether Cena prepared himself specially for this role or had he known how to play the piano even before this series, we have the answer for you! Namely, John Cena knew how to play the piano even before shooting the Peacemaker, so he did not have to learn it for this role specifically.
In an older interview, John Cena revealed that he had learned to play the piano and he had already featured in a video (check our the The Bella Twin’s YouTube channel to see it) wearing a formal suit and playing a piano remake of The Pixies’ song “Where Is My Mind?”. In case you doubted that it was Cena who actually played the piano, this old video will surely put you at ease, as it is additional evidence that the guy can do anything he wants. Kudos to him!
What was Christopher Smith playing on the piano?
Now that we’ve cleared everything up and that you now know for sure that it was John Cena on that piano actually playing the piece, and not some pianist who recorded the piece in a studio and whose recoriding was dubbed over Cena’s performance, we can talk about the music itself. Playing the piano is not easy, but a lot of people can actually learn some basic compositions and play some easier ones. The song we’ve heard in the Peacemaker is far from complex, and with the slower tempo, it could be played by someone like Cena, who knows how to play the instrument, but is not a professional pianist. So, what song are we talking about?
You know the piano version, as we’ve linked it to you above, but we also decided you should hear the original. The song in question is Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home”. Mötley Crüe are pioneers of the glam metal genre and one of the most important metal bands in history. And while “Home Sweet Home” is not that fast in the original, Cena’s piano version is, as you can hear, a simplified version of the original melody.
Despite of that, the slower version worked perfectly and was in tone with the tone of the episode itself. Cena did a great job playing it and whoever reworked the original into this piano version did a great job as well. And this is the story of John Cena’s piano scene from Peacemaker. You know that it was him playing it, you know that he knew how to play the piano before, and you know the title of the song – and it’s truly a great story from Gunn’s exceptional series.