John Cena explained to Hailee Steinfeld what a mixtape is: ‘A physical, tangible playlist’


My 14 year-old son has a Walkman he uses sometimes, thanks to Guardians of The Galaxy. He thought it looked cool so his dad gave him one from the 80s he’d saved. He also has a record player after my brother gave him a bunch of old records. So when Hailee Steinfeld, 22, asked John Cena, 41, in semi-seriousness what a mixtape was I was surprised. She said “what’s that?” but maybe she was clowning a little. She did seem very interested and like she was learning about it. They use tapes in the movie, which is set in the late 80s, so surely she knows about tapes but maybe didn’t know that we used to make mixes. In the 90s we would make mix CDs too! Here’s how that exchange between Hailee and John went. They were on the press junket for Bumblebee when it came up. This section is queued up in the video above:

I love that in your head it’s still the 80s
Cena: Of course, why not right?
Cassette tapes, sure
Cena: Cause you could make mix tapes. Making a mixtape was something really special
Steinfeld: What’s that
Cena: It was similar if you were to bestow on someone a playlist
Steinfeld: Ohhh
Cena: Like here are my favorite songs that remind me of emotional connection or times we spent together, but because it’s tangible you can then label the tape, it was an arts and crafts thing. Then the tape had a case so you can label… the side. It was a physical, tangible playlist.

I miss mix tapes! I wish I still had some, or at least the song lists, that boyfriends made for me and that I made for them. John and Hailee are so cute in this interview. I’m sure they had a ton more interviews to do that day and that it was somewhat of a pain, but they’re pros and they’re game for answering questions. They seem really comfortable together too. That’s not going to make me see Bumblebee but they don’t need my money to make a billion dollars. Oh this movie actually came out late last month in the US and the UK. Interesting as I either barely heard about it or ignored the press.

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Photos credit: WENN

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11 Responses to “John Cena explained to Hailee Steinfeld what a mixtape is: ‘A physical, tangible playlist’”

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  1. Dani says:

    They look so strange next to each other, it makes me giggle. I like Cena. Hailey is soo pretty. Not going to see this movie. Also we made mix CDs!!

  2. Nicegirl says:

    Oh the nostalgia! Never will forget those mix tapes! I remember also making them for myself and friends, like to listen to in the car, so we could listen to fresh beats while CRUISING. Omg, I’m only in my early 40s. I sound ancient. 😂

  3. Steff says:

    John Cena should give her his thuganomics mixtape from his early career.
    I realize most of you don’t watch wrestling but the one’s that remember how cringe John Cena used to be… what’s up? :P

  4. Lolly says:

    I’m 30 and I used to make mixed tapes. Recording from your radio was so hard because often times the DJ would cut in before the song ended and it would drive me nuts. Kids have it so easy these days, with their iTunes.

  5. Malificent says:

    My boyfriend from sophomore year of college lived five states away from me. He snail mailed me a bunch of mixtapes when we were apart. May explain why I still find The Pixies strangely romantic.

  6. Winnie Cooper's Mom says:

    A couple of years ago, I was telling a kid that I nannied for that I still purchased CDs at like Best Buy, Target etc. She couldn’t comprehend it. I was like “Yeah, I enjoy having the tangible version of the music, and flipping through the cover. Makes it feel real.” She laughed and thought I was an idiot. Fast forward to 2018, and CDs in stores are basically non-existent. :(

    • Veronica S. says:

      It’s a shame, too, because companies are beginning to abuse the hell out of intellectual property rights. I know plenty of people who have paid for content only to have it yanked later without refund because they only had the rights to a ~digital copy~ and not the real material. They couldn’t pull that sh*t with physical copies. And then they wonder why streaming services and pirating are becoming the go-to for most consumers.