dotsTerry Crews – Cruising to the Top

Published on October 1, 2013 by Sonya's Spotlight


Actor Terry Crews, known for his television and big screen roles in “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Are We There Yet?” “White Chicks,” “The Newsroom,” “The Longest Yard,” “Friday After Next,”  “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and most recently, “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2” as “Officer Earl,” is a man of steel with a compassionate heart. The former NFL player, who played seven years in the league, says he became a sought-after actor by merely starting from the bottom and working his way up. Crews was hired as an on-set security guard in L.A. after his gridiron days, but the agony of defeat quickly crept into his consciousness. “At first I was a little upset,” Terry admits. “I was like, ‘Man, I used to play pro football and now I’m just a security guard.’”

It took someone on set encouraging Crews to use his experience as a security guard to learn more about the craft for Crews to start appreciating his job more. Crews said he was advised to watch how films were being made and to become more knowledgeable about the craft. “That insight totally changed my perspective about my job,” Crews said. “You really just have to be willing to start at the bottom. If you have to sweep the floor, then you’ve got to be that guy. But what will happen is you’ll discover how the business works. You’ll discover what to do as you watch and learn, and then you can ride that all the way up.”

Crews spoke with Sonya’s Spotlight Web Mag during a tele-conference recently about his role in “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2,” his road to becoming a successful actor, and some personal tips on marriage and parenthood. Check out a few of Terry Crews’ views on various topics below.



On transitioning into an acting career after working in another field:

“I would say the true key to changing is humility. You have to start from the bottom. The problem that I have seen when people try to change careers is that they leave in a very high place and expect to jump into another high place. That’s where the adjustment has the problem, because you just can’t jump into another career at the same level. You have to always start at the bottom.”

His reservations about taking the role as “Officer Earl” in “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2” – previously  played by  Mr. T:

“Believe me . .  . I stayed awake. It’s one of those things where you’re happy you got it [the role] and now you’ve got to do it. And I was like ‘Oh no,’ because Mr. T is a national treasure. I had the Mr. T cereal, I went to see Rocky 3 about five times in the theater. The director really, really just reassured me. He said, ‘Terry, we want you. We want all you can bring as Terry Crews.’ And that really just made me at ease, and I  put my whole heart into it. I was really, really happy. And then on top of that, on Twitter I got a blessing from Mr. T. He said he was really happy I was doing it and he wished me all the luck in the world. I did not want to disappoint people. I gave everything I had. It was so much fun to do.  I like being in front of the camera, but this was just as satisfying in every way.”

Similarities between himself and the character he plays in “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2.”

“I’m very passionate – extremely passionate. Earl [In Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2] is a manly man. But this is the thing; I think to be a manly man – to be the most manly man ever – you have to be strong and compassionate. Earl cares. To me, manliness is having the strength to help a lady cross the street. All my strength is used for building and for helping, and not hurting. I don’t like jokes that are mean. I don’t like bullies, I don’t like people being taken advantage of. That makes me angry. I want to protect people. We [Earl and I] are similar in so many ways. I think feelings make you more manly.”

 His key to a successful 24-year marriage with his wife, Rebecca, and tips for making a marriage last:

“Wow. There are so many. One nugget is you cannot control a person and love them at the same time. You can’t. It’s impossible. I made that mistake, many, many times. No one can speak for you. Your husband cannot think for you. He can’t talk for you and you can’t talk for him. And that’s where people tend to get things mixed up. I have the perfect example:  I bought my wife a car. It was a beautiful car. It had the rims, the windows tinted . . . it was beautiful. And I gave it to her and she said, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’ And I said, ‘What is the deal?’ I told all my friends, ‘You know what?  They don’t appreciate nothing.’ You know what hit me? I never asked her what she wanted. I bought her a car I wanted, which is the wrong move. Intentions get you nowhere. You don’t get points for intention. You only get points for behavior. And I had to change. I had to say, ‘Baby, what do you want? Where do you want to go? Where do you want to eat?’ And that’s how you know your spouse. And you can stay together a long time once you respect and know that their feelings and opinions are always validated. It makes a great marriage.”

His Parenting  Tips – being the father of five children with one grandchild:

“One thing is just to be a kid yourself. See yourself in the eyes of your kids. I think I have the advantage in that I always see myself as a big kid. You think you’re instructing your kids, but a lot of times you’re just doing things and hoping they pick it up. And I had to really turn around and start talking to them and saying, ‘This is how you do this – how you brush your teeth, how you shine your shoes, how you iron your clothes.’ But early on I used to just do things and think they’d pick it up. I’d say, ‘You should know that. You watched me do it.’ Well, they’ve watched me drive their whole lives, but the first time they get behind a wheel they don’t know how to drive. I’ve had to become more of an instructor. Don’t assume the kids already know what you’re talking about. Go ahead and talk to them and explain to them. They’re going to say they understand, but they don’t. You have to really, really make sure that they get it. ”

On Working Out & Staying Physically Fit:

“I make time for my workout. I get up early. Can you imagine what people would say if I gained 30 pounds? They’d be like, ‘Man, get in the gym.’ I’ve set it up. It’s very, very important. It’s part of my business right now. I love it. It’s my peace. I go in the gym and I relax. That’s what I tell everybody. If you’re going to the gym and a trainer is killing you and intimidating you, fire them. You should never, ever be intimidated by the gym. Never. It should feel like the spa. ‘I get to go to the gym!’ You should feel that way. And if you’re not feeling that way, change membership . . . leave.  Because if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not gonna do it.”

Twitter – @terrycrews

“Lover to my wife, father to my children, friend to my friends, and servant to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” – Terry Crews

Photo Credit:!/realterrycrews

By Sonya Jenkins

Earl Scouts Animated Short Featuring Terry Crews


This article featured in: Celebrity Profiles, In The Spotlight

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