Actor and professional wrestler John Cena stopped by the Gentle Barn off Sierra Highway in Canyon Country on Sunday as a part of the promotional tour for the animated feature Ferdinand.
The new film, which centers around the life of a pacifistic young bull, arose from a collaboration between Twentieth Century Fox and The Gentle Barn – a local charity that houses and rehabilitates abused farm animals and pairs them with inner-city children for mutual therapeutic value.
Twentieth Century Fox based much of the animation for their eponymous protagonist Ferdinand, voiced by Cena, on the real life Ferdinand – a bull calf who lives at The Gentle Barn.
Ferdinand’s progress at The Gentle Barn will be broadcast by Fox over various social media platforms.
“It’s a really cool thing that Fox has been able to do with The Gentle Barn,” said Cena in an interview with The Signal.
The actor spent over 45 minutes petting, feeding and posing with the young bull – the physical embodiment of the character he had played over the past few months.
Cena’s day in Santa Clarita began a few hours earlier at the Edwards Canyon Country movie theater, where an exclusive premier of Ferdinand was shown.
“Ferdinand is [originally] a book that’s been in publication for over 80 years,” he said, “about a misunderstood bull who isn’t afraid to be himself under the pressures of the outside world.”
After the premier, Cena and other Fox executives retreated to The Gentle Barn where they met the real Ferdinand and enjoyed a taste of Santa Clarita’s rural heritage.
“I’ve snuck up in this area to film a few days,” Cena said. “But this is my first time at The Gentle Barn and it’s a pretty spectacular place.”
The Gentle Barn seeks donations to ensure that they can continue to rescue, rehabilitate and house abused animals. More information about this local charity can be found at: http://www.gentlebarn.org/california/