12 Rounds offers moviegoers suspense

World Wrestling Entertainment superstar John Cena makes his second film venture with his new movie 12 Rounds.
Cena plays detective Danny Fischer, a New Orleans police officer who stops Miles Jackson (Aiden Gillen), a brilliant thief, from getting away with a multi-million-dollar heist when Jackson’s girlfriend is accidently killed. Years later, Jackson escapes prison and begins his revenge scheme by kidnapping Fischer’s girlfriend, Molly (Ashley Scott).
He then starts to play a game with Fischer called “12 Rounds,” where he tests the cop on accomplishing nearly impossible tasks throughout New Orleans. It is now up to Fischer to complete these tasks to save Molly.
The Beacon was able to sit down with Cena for an interview at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Brickell, one of the first of many stops to promote 12 Rounds.
Cena first came on board with this project when one of the producers, Josh McLaughlin, approached him with the story.
“I was totally taken by the script and it was totally different than my first picture [The Marine],” said Cena. “The plot was more unique and the character development was more intriguing.”
Cena told McLaughlin that if he gave him the script, he would pitch the movie to Vince McMahon, his boss and pro wrestling entrepreneur, who was in charge of WWE Studios. McMahon agreed and granted McLaughlin the green light to start production.
The film found its director in action film veteran Renny Harlin, who has done classic action films such as Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger.
“He certainly is the life of the party off the set,” Cena said. “But when you are on the set and it is all business, there is nobody I want better in the director’s chair.”
To prepare, Cena trained with the New Orleans Police Department, drawing true inspiration from his brother who has been an officer for nine years.
“That was where I drew the everyman type of aspect of being a police officer because I have seen his face whether he is working 60-hour traffic detail or working three nights in a row,” Cena said.
The most difficult scene Cena had to shoot was when he hung on a rope from a building.
“For two days, I was 10 stories above the city of New Orleans and that was just two very crappy days of work,” said Cena, who is afraid of heights. “But we got it done and the sequence was able make the final cut of the movie.”
Cena would work on the film throughout the week. On Mondays, he would shoot mornings and then fly to wherever the WWE was filming its live wrestling program, “Raw.” Cena would wrestle and get back on an 11:30 p.m. plane to New Orleans to start the week all over again.
Cena wants audiences watching 12 Rounds to be entertained.
“Whether you are trying to get a point across, the main goal is to entertain the ticket buyer,” Cena said. “I really think this film does that as it will keep everyone in suspense with great character development.”

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