Terry Alan Crews is an American actor and former American football player. He is perhaps best known for playing Julius on the UPN/CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris and for his appearances in Old Spice commercials, as well as films such as Friday After Next, White Chicks, Bridesmaids, Idiocracy, Gamer, and The Expendables. Crews starred as Nick Kingston-Persons in the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? and as himself in the BET reality series The Family Crews. As of 2014, he plays NYPD Sergeant Terry Jeffords on the Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine and hosts the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
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That is a lot. Let's just say: I'm Terry Crews. Actor, host, currently in the airport doing this AMA. Victoria's helping me out via phone. AMA!
Edit Yeah, you know what? I wanna say - I want to thank you for being FRIENDS. Because fans, they know your successes.
But friends know your failures.
So I want to thank the people who've read my book, the people who follow me on Twitter, the people who just discovered me, and just want to let you know that I'm no different than any other person out there. I hope I can encourage you to go for your dream, no matter what it is, and if you can look at me and be inspired, I want to inspire me.
I love you all. You are talking to the most thankful man in Hollywood. Thank you so much.
Who's the funniest one on the set of B99?
Andy Samberg. Bar none.
Can I tell you something about Andy?
Andy Samberg basically is the glue. He is the guy who makes this show go. And I'm gonna tell you why: he is so selfless. He makes sure that ALL of us are included in everything. It could easily become the 'Andy Samberg show' but he didn't want it that way. He recognizes the talent that's in each and every one of us that it's very humbling, really.
People don't understand how hard comedy is. And it's funny, because he'll GIVE us jokes while we're there. He'll hand us things, he'll tell me to go here, do this, and the man knows his stuff. And Andre and I will just sit there sometimes and wonder, because here's a guy who's new to TV in a lot of ways - he did SNL, but acting as a character, it's shocking how great he is. But Andy is my man, and he is the funniest guy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, bar none. I call him my little brother, cuz I feel like he is my little brother.
What do you think about the other "Old Spice Guy" Isaiah Mustafa? Have you guys ever talked or seen each other?
Yes! I am good friends with Isaiah!
What people have to understand about the Old Spice ads is that Isaiah is for the ladies.
Isaiah is for the women who buy Old Spice for their men. And the guy'll say "Get me some deodorant" and the women will say "Oh yeah, that's the man YOUR man can smell like!" That's Isaiah you know?
But what you gotta understand is that Terry Crews is for the GUYS.
I'm saying Hey, you, you stink! You need to shave. You need to get your thing together! I yell at 'em! I scream at 'em! In the commercials, I punch people! And sometimes women might be like "Oh, this is a little too much." But the guys get it! They're like "You're right, I need to do something." So guys respond to aggressive advertising.
So the genius of Wieden + Kennedy is that they recognize both segments.
And the world will EXPLODE when we do something together.
Can you imagine?
Just the thought of you guys collaborating makes we want to go out and buy some Old Spice deodorant right now. Thanks for answering!
HAHAHA! That's great!
Hi Terry. We've all seen you singing in the car before (White Chicks, Click). Now the question on everyone's mind, do you sing in the car in real life?
I jam my ass off in the car.
Lemme tell you something - when I'm in a car, the beats are flying, I'm singing! Because people think when me and Jimmy Fallon did our lip-synch duet, I would sing Ebony & Ivory in the DRIVE! I would sing Luther Vandross to Beyonce, then I'm rapping along to Kanye. My car is my concert hall, OKAY?
My kids even know that! They'll be like "Stop already!" Because once I get going, I won't stop.
Especially if I know the words. If I don't know the words, I'm making up words.
Any tips for a guy struggling to find the motivation to work out daily, and just practice better fitness on the whole?
TREAT THE GYM LIKE A SPA.
Yes. It has to feel good. I tell people this a lot - go to the gym, and just sit there, and read a magazine, and then go home. And do this every day.
Go to the gym, don't even work out. Just GO. Because the habit of going to the gym is more important than the work out. Because it doesn't matter what you do. You can have fun - but as long as you're having fun, you continue to do it.
But what happens is you get a trainer, your whole body is sore, you can't feel your legs, and you're not coming back the next day - you might not come back for a year!
I worked my way up to 2 hours a day. I ENJOY my workouts. They are my peace, my joy - I get my whole head together! I value that time more than my shower! And it really gets me together. But it's a habit.
There are times when - I'm not even kidding - there are times when I"m in the middle of a work out, and actually woke up because i am so engrained with going to the gym and being there - it's that much of a habit to me. The first thing I do in the morning is work out - I lay out my workout clothes the night before, and just hop in 'em.
So lay out your clothes, and go to the gym, and relax.
But sooner or later, you WILL work out.
As an ex football player in the NFL:
3.Do you feel any side effects from your time as a player?
P.S. Crossing my fingers for season 2 of World's Funniest Fails! More clips please!
1.) Wow, okay. You know what? Football is football. It's gotta be dangerous. If you take the danger out of football, it's not football anymore, it's beach volleyball - nothing against that. But there's a pride that came that knowing I existed on that field and lasted. You are a warrior. You don't want to go to war, and have nobody shoot you. You want to be in the thick of it, and test yourself. That's what the NFL is all about. In regards to safety, it's all technique. If you see something that's dangerous, that is really life threatening on the field, you are witnessing terrible technique from SOMEONE - putting a head down, trying to steer someone, back in the day, when I first started, there were guys who would leave sharp edges on certain pads so they would cut people. It's weird because all this stuff is about that one little thing that gets you over - but if you play with integrity like 99% of the players in the NFL, nobody is aiming for knees or anything, you don't have time for that. You're just tackling! I don't know anybody who aimed to break someone's neck. But with technique, you can do it all. I got knocked out on Monday Night Football, and that was all through bad technique. So technique is key to safety.
2.) Wow! Um... I think a lot of that responsibility is on the player. Lemme tell you something: I'm gonna go deeper right now.
When you're talking about an athlete, an athlete tends to become his wins and what I mean by that is - when they WIN a lot, and are successful, they tend to believe they are better than everyone else, okay?
So the rules don't apply.
So you get to do things. You get away with things. You get to go into the party. You get to use bad technique, and nobody corrects it, because you're the star and everybody panders to you.
BUT THEN, a tragic thing happens. What happens is inevitably you lose. Inevitably, you get older. Inevitably, you get slower. So if you live by your wins, you also live by your losses.
And now, you're worse than everyone.
Once you're on the downswing, they don't want you anymore. A lot of problems that involve NFL athletes are psychological, more than they are physical.
When you are losing, you are lower than low. I have had friends in the NFL who have killed themselves, literally. And played with guys who committed suicide because they are not playing anymore.
And what you need to know is that NOTHING that you've ever done - nothing that anyone could ever say to you, or whatever career you've had - can EVER DIMINISH YOUR WORTH as a human being.
You are amazing.
So what happens is when you win it's a great day, and when you lose, you'll come back tomorrow. So the big deal, with most athletes, is having a right psychology of knowing that they're priceless, regardless of whether they win or lose.
And that's the whole thing. Because when you are done with the sport, then you are okay. But now, what happens is when people are done with the sport, it affects you physically. I don't know anyone who's not been depressed without being sick. It comes hand-in-hand. But when you feel good about yourself, your body feels good.
3.) None. Not one bit. I am in the best shape I have ever been in my life.
HAHAHA! Can i break it down for that too?
A lot of people have been saying "Hey, another clip show, what's the big deal?"
The big deal is that this is for FAMILIES. If you look at it, what we do is basically clean up YouTube, so you don't have to. You can have a 4 year old watching right along with your grandma, and you're all laughing together.
That's what the WHOLE thing is. Because lemme tell you - I tried to watch YouTube with my kids, and then all of a sudden, some strange video will pop out of nowhere, and let me tell you - the evening's OVER.
Have you over had a friend send you something, and you wish you could unseen it? Let me tell you - I unfollow people, because I"m like "What in the world - how did this end up on my feed?!"
I'd get scared if I were to watch the internet with my family. But this show makes it palatable for every member, and you can watch and enjoy it together. Adam Sandler hit me up after the second episode, and he said "I watched this show with my kids, and we laughed our butts off." So that's what my mission is.
I'm waiting for the pick up- but I'm happy! I can't wait to do some more. You never run out of fails, that's for real. Hahaha!
How much free old spice do you get?
I GET TONS OF FREE OLD SPICE. And I wanna make sure it keeps coming! I love my Old Spice.
I actually shave my head every day, and every morning, I use aftershave - get that little tingly - and my head is nice and ready to go! I'm a fake bald!
What do you think of the casting of Kristen Wiig and Melissa Mc in Ghostbusters?
I loved your Drunk History with Wiig!!
OH! I LOVE KRISTEN! And you know what? First of all, as a card-carrying feminist, I am a BIG feminist, anytime I see women being stars - the stars that they should be, and being featured, and being highlighted, it makes my heart happy.
Because it's long overdue. Women are great, and funny, and amazing, and smarter than men - for real! - and it's a reboot that needs to happen. There are SO many good things about that, what can I say? It's going to be a HIT. And GO LADIES! I'm with you! I can't wait to make the premiere!
Do you actually love the song 1,000 Miles by Vanessa Carlton, or did you just have to pretend to for the White Chicks script?
^^Because ^^I ^^love ^^that ^^song ^^and ^^I ^^love ^^your ^^rendition
You know? The Wayans Brothers basically put that song in the movie, and I practiced that thing non-stop for probably... a month. I mean, I had all kinds of renditions, I had different moves I was doing, and let me tell you - one thing that people don't know, is that when we shot that scene, I did that in one take.
Because I was SO READY TO DO IT.
It was like... It's finally here, I've done it so many ways and it was so comfortable. We asked Kenan, and he said "Dude, you can't get any better than that. That's it." and they were all just cracking up, just bawling out, they didn't know what was coming! And when I did it, they just DIED.
And that scene, and that moment, changed my life forever.
And that's for real.
Because I remember feeling the confidence that I was funny, and that I could just be ME, and people would like me.
There's nothing like people accepting you for being yourself.
It changed me forever.
Because so many times you're scared, you think that people will laugh at you, judge you or mock you, and I learned to just go with my flow, and it's never led me wrong - not once.
Hi Terry, first of all, I love you. :D
Second: I would like to know what do you like the most? Drawing, acting or playing football? Because you impressed me VERY MUCH with your drawing when you presented them at Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Third: How the fuck did you become so ripped? You're the one I would pick to fight The Mountain.
Aw, I loooove being an artist.
And football is done for me. I don't want to commentate on it. That part of my life is gone. I really like the players, I like watching, but in regards to anything with football, it's over. I'm always sketching, I always have ebook with pens and paper, because that's where everything is - until you can see it, you can't really have it.
And I like to DREAM it. I used to be able to sit in the mall and sketch people, but now i"m too famous. I can't people watch anymore. And the acting is nothing more than sketching - it's the same stuff. Because you're creating something that doesn't exist, out of thin air, and you're bringing it to life.
So I look at acting as the same as being a painter, or graphic designer.
Favorite Super Hero and who would you want to play the most ?
Again... it's hard to pick a favorite super-hero. I always did love Luke Cage, and I'm really, really happy about who they cast in the Netflix version of Luke Cage. So that's something that's already done. But you know who else I'd like to play? The Silver Surfer. I always LOVED - I thought I had the build, the body, I could get on that surfboard, and if they ever do a live-action version of Silver Surfer, I think that would be perfect for me.
Can you describe one word about how enjoyable the future episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine season are?
In one word... Hmmm.....
What's your favorite animal?
You know what? I love dogs.
But lemme tell you something - I've been preparing for this Adam Sandler Western, and I have been riding a LOT of horses.
And right now, they are my #1 animal right now. I LOVE HORSES. I love them! They are so huge, and magnificent, and beautiful, and strong! I'm telling you - they are definitely - I think they just beat out dogs for me now. I'm gonna have some horses. Terry Crews is going to have some horses at a stable near you!
Terry, your buddy Schwarzenegger (sharing your birthday) has a new Terminator movie coming out. I know you're an Arnold fan but are you a big Terminator fan too? Will you be there on July 1st to see Arnold kick some ass?
Well, you know, I will be there. I was murdered in one of the TERMINATOR movies, haha! In the Christian Bale / McG version of TERMINATOR. I actually had a role in that movie. But it got cut out, and I was a dead body. So I actually am a part OF the Franchise! It was the fourth TERMINATOR! If you go to the beginning - I"m a dead body lying on a pile of dirt! And you can see my face - it's Terry Crews, dead! Hahaha! That's what you call an EPIC FAIL!
What's it like working on Millionaire? How were you originally approached to host the show?
You know? You can't fake liking people.
I like people.
And there's a lot of people who are hosts, or who are on TV, that don't like people, and you can always tell.
Like they'll host for the money - but they don't really LIKE people. And when the camera shuts off, they don't even look at 'em. I love meeting people, from all over the world, all over the country, and here I get to hand people money in hard times, you know?
It's like the job of the century! You answer questions, you give away money, and I always wanted to be that guy, bringing happiness to people, and I get to do it every day!
Well, it's funny, because TV, movies, whatever you thought you knew about entertainment has all changed. There used to be a WAY to be a host. You had to be a host "type." You had to look a certain way, talk a certain way. And what's great is that ABC came to me, and wanted to revamp it, and try a new way of doing things. And they told me "Don't be a host Terry. Be you." And that's the same energy I bring to WORLD'S FUNNIEST FAILS, to MILLIONAIRE, is that I'm myself.
It's great to play characters, but I don't have any skeletons on my closet I"m scared to put out there. I wrote my book last year, so I'm free and clear to be myself! So when I get out there and host and meet people and just laugh - I'm not a motivation speaker, I am a motivational DOER. My job is to show you what's possible.
To show you that this kid from a little town called Flint, Michigan, can make it in America, and make it to the top, off of hard, hard work.
"The answer to your prayer does not come by talking. The answer to your prayer is answered by working." And I got that. And once I discovered that - only by working would I become what I needed to become.
And I decided to push myself beyond. There are times when I'm scared. I'm frightened I'll fail onstage. But i do it ANYWAY. Because at the end, you become somebody DIFFERENT. You become what you always thought you could.
And that takes courage. And i Practice being courageous. I have to do something that scares me every day. Really.
What's your favorite color?
My favorite color... is probably blue.
And it would be navy blue, like that deep, dark, blue, that's almost black, but blue.
I just stumbled across the "Scare Me" video by Major Lazer. That looked like such a fun shoot. How'd you get the part of THE Major Lazer, and how much fun did you have?
AW THIS IS A GREAT STORY, great story.
I had been listening to Major Lazer for YEARS. I'm a big fan of Diplo, and all his music. And it's great workout music. I have to run angry, okay? hahaha! When I'm on the treadmill, I love drum & bass, a lot of alternative, and Major Lazer - I listen to that album from beginning to end!
So I get a call from my manager, and he says... you know, there's this group, I don't know if you ever heard of 'em, Major Lazer, they're doing a video, and they were asking if you would be interested? I was going to just pass, but you told me to tell you everything - because i have this rule for my agent / manager, which is "I don't care if someone wants me to do the State Fair Pie-eating Contest - LET ME KNOW. Because i want the right to say YES or NO."
And he said "I was gonna pass, but I remembered you told me to bring you everything" and I went "MY GOD! MAJOR LAZER IS MY FAVORITE GROUP OF ALL TIME!" and he went "I am so glad i brought it to you!" and I said "I will do it for free! I will show up!"
We shot it downtown LA, it was over 3 days, and it was a BLAST. Lauren London was on there, and we had vampires, and all this, and it was just one of the BEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE. See - you have to understand - I never do anything for money. Ever. I do it for the creativity, for the excitement - I need to feel like something amazing is happening. And anybody who sees the video will know that it was incredible.
And listen - if they ever do a Major Lazer movie: that's me.
Of all the characters you have played, who has been your favorite?
You know, I can't say that, because they're like my children, you know?
You can't pick a favorite child! I mean, President Camacho is forever a part of me, a part of my soul.
I channel Camacho when I'm working out. President Camacho in the morning!
And then I channel Lattrell, because he's me in a lot of ways, you know? He's basically a cad-dish me. But there's a part of me that thinks I run the world, you know? My wife checks me. But Lattrell is one of my favorite, favorite characters because he really got his just deserts.
And then you have to go to Julius, from EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS. Quintessential dad. And he had to make ends meet in the hood, where you don't get second chances. And he's one of the funniest characters I've ever played. And now my character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine - the way I LOVE My castmates, my kids, my job - I would seriously go to blows for any member of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine Cast - Friday After Next, that was the one that set it off, me and Katt Williams and Ice Cube, this is where you get hood famous - you can't go south of the 10 in LA without everybody knowing who you are! And Cheeseburger Eddie, I mean it just keeps going! The Longest Yard - it was my dream to always be in that movie, when I saw the first one! And pulling cheeseburgers out of my pants! They're all amazing and like my kids.
Hi Terry! When you lifted up the police car in the first season of Brooklyn 99, was the car real? Also how much do you bench?
The car was real. And the fart was real. But they lifted it up for me.
Oh wow, I only do... I never do one-rep maxes. But I have done 405 three times in one sitting. But I don't know what the one-rep max is. But that's where I've been at.
Hi Terry! Just thinking about you makes me laugh! How much time do you spend each day working out? Also, do you have any interest in playing an action hero?
Thanks for doing this AMA. Enjoy your flight!
I spend... almost 2 hours a day working out. It can go from 1.5 hours to 2. And on the weekends, I usually spend about 45 minutes - just 5 days a week kind of thing, and on the weekends, I always run. I run at least 4 miles every day, nonstop. Running clears my mind. I have what you would call ADD. I have to be active nonstop, because it makes me normal, regular, calm. If you see me, and I'm calm, I got my workout in. And lifting heavy weights, and running, just gets me to a normal place.
Oh yeah! I mean, I play a hero on the Expendables series. But I could do more. I gotta tell everybody - when I look at Liam Neeson, Sly, Arnold, all these guys - my best, best roles might not happen until I'm 55 years old, you know? Look at Denzel! I looked at JK Simmons, all these wonderful, wonderful actors doing great, great work and they're well after 50. So I think Terry Crew's best role - I haven't played yet.
What's your favorite kind of yogurt ?
Aw man. You know, I gotta go with mixed berry.
I'm not too greek-oriented, I ain't gonna lie to you. I like the good ol' fashioned full-fat milky Dannon with fruit on the bottom, it's almost like a damn dessert!
What's your favourite videogame?
You know what?
Oh man, that's a hard one.
I don't play a whole lot of video games, but I gotta go with... Oh my god! There's so many!
Hold on one second, I got it in my phone, I want to mention it right...
I really dig the Dragon Age game. I got it for Christmas. Dragon Age Inquisition. It's a Game of Thrones kinda thing. Madden is all good. And i get into a lot of kid's stuff, know what i mean? The Disney - the one - my son plays it ALL the time, and i hop on with him - where you can play all the characters - DISNEY INFINITY!
Those are my top 3! That way you can play with the whole fam. Dragon Age and Madden - you're by yourself.
What's your favorite book?
OH that's hard. There are so many, so many!
But i gotta go with... there's one called... THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG by David J. Schwartz. That book changed my life.
It made me think bigger.
It made me - instead of asking "Why?" i started to ask "Why not?"
Because you don't realize how you've been doing things in your life for other people. You know?
And i started to ask What did I want?
Because you realize - I wanna do this because this is what my mother wants for me, or I'm doing this because my dad would really like me like this, or I'm doing this cuz my girlfriend thinks it's great. But you're never going to do what's wonderful until you do what YOU want to do.
And my mission is to help you be the best YOU ever.
Don't ever, ever compete with anyone. Just create. Because competition is really a myth. Imagine - if you go to 5th Avenue, and every store is Gucci, no one would go!
You have to go to 5th Avenue, and you have to have Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton - everyone has to succeed for you to win!
If ABC failed tomorrow, it's not good for FOX! Or NBC, or CBS! You know what I'm saying?
It's not about competition, it's bout creativity.
Terry Crews does not compete. Terry Crews creates. That's it.
And I will always be creating.
When do you find time to sleep?
How many times can you curl Andy Samberg?
1.) You know... there are times when I don't.
But I've learned - this is Terry Crews. Terry Crews is white-hot-to-FIRE. When I want something - I literally write down my goals. I write down what I want, and then I go for it. I can't SLEEP until I've done something on every one of my goals. And sometimes, I'll sleep 5,6 hours. I'll get whatever I can in, and then I'm back up again. But it fuels me. I have 3 shows on the air at the same time. But it feels like FUN. I don't ever - NOT ONCE - have i felt like i was at work. EVER.
And it's because i'm achieving something. My job, as a human being, is to take something that was nothing, and make it into something beautiful. I don't care about money, or all that other stuff. To me, it's about improving YOUR life, someone's life, improving a situation, improving an art piece, improving a movie, or a tv show - it's all about taking something from one place to the next, and improving it.
Terry Crews is about service, and THEN you get the money. That's just how it is.
2.) Probably about 5, 6 times. Then he would get a little tired, HAHAHA! You know what? Lemme add this: it depends on how still he could brace himself.
Because you can't pick up ANYBODY if they don't want to be picked up! IF your child goes limp, you can't pick 'em up! It's like an unseen force - if you don't let yourself get picked up, you ain't getting picked up!
All Hale Caesar! Terry, EX3 made over 200 million worldwide. That's pretty good but could have done better if it wasn't leaked. What would Terry Crews do to the culprit who leaked the movie if you and the pirate got in a ring? AND can you name 3 actors you'd like to see play the villain in Expendables 4?
Um... the first thing I would do... is...I would take those guys, whoever leaked the Expendables 3, I would make them sit down in front of their mom, okay? And basically let their mom give them a stern-talking-to about stealing, and what it makes you.
The thing is, what these people don't know, is that everyone, all the stars, are gonna be fine - don't cry for me, Terry Crews is gonna be great. Really! But what are you saying about yourself if you have a lifestyle of thievery? Slowly but surely, a little bit of your soul gets chipped away, and you wonder why you never get anywhere in life. I mean, Karma is a bitch, just to be frank. You really have to look at the little small decision that make a big, big part of your life.
EVERYTHING counts. If you hand out a $1 to a person on the street who needs one, or if you steal $1 from a tip jar - they might not notice it, but what does that make you?
I'd make them stand in front of their mother, or father, and let their parents deal with 'em!
Justin Bieber is a villain. He's gotta be. I want him to be a bad,bad,bad boy.
I've been trying to get Justin in one of these for the longest time. My NEXT deal would be Jackie Chan - he's gotta be BAD though. He's always been the nice guy, he's always been sweet, but he's gotta be VICIOUS, relentless- YES!
And the next villain I wanna see in the Expendables franchise is my man Dwayne Johnson. You know what? I wanna see a Battle Royale, Caesar versus Dwayne, in a blow-to-blow fiesta of carnage! HAHAHA!
Patriots or Seahawks?
I think the Seahawks are gonna win.