Terry Crews isn't content to just make the requisite number of funny flicks. With charisma, acting ability and the necessary physical chops, the former NFL player turned actor, is making a smooth transition from funny man to action man in his latest offering “The Expendables”.
In the action thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country, and overthrow its ruthless dictator, Crews, best known for his funny roles in "Friday After Next,” White Chicks" and the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris,” plays a weapons specialist called Hale Caesar.
“I had the pleasure of working with an AA-12. It’s an automatic shotgun. It was firing several rounds per second and each bullet had a bomb in it,” says Crews who was pleased at the opportunity to flex his artistic muscle.
“I was kinda nervous for I knew what people were saying from me coming from comedy, but I have been working out for two-hours a day for the last seven years getting ready for a part like this and here it is.”
An extraordinary actor with presence and appeal, Crews’ burgeoning film career began in 1999, two years after he moved to Los Angeles from Michigan with the show “Battle Dome”.
“I always wanted to be in entertainment, but taking your whole family and retiring from the NFL and moving to Los Angeles to make it in Hollywood is not a wise decision. Everybody was like ‘what are you doing?’ But I knew I wasn’t going to fail because I was never going to quit. What I have learned is that you have to have that kind of determination or you will never make it. I treat every opportunity as if it’s my last one. Every time you see me onscreen, you are getting 110%.”
With A-List action stars ranging from athletes, martial arts champions to wrestlers, the dynamic cast includes British tough-guy Jason Statham, Chinese superstar Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, and Sylvester Stallone. For good measure, Stallone, who also directs coaxed in former-actor-now California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis for cameos. Both play mysterious kingpins who meet for a fleeting moment at a church to discuss a possible job.
Drenched in testosterone, there’s no shortage of death and destruction. Bodies are blown to splatter; men, women, children - no one is spared. The action is fast and furious with oodles of adrenaline and the usual procession of fire-fights, shoot-outs, tortures, escapes, one-on-one conflicts, crashing helicopters and minimal dialogue.
“I was always built for action and I have been ready and waiting,” continues Crews. “When you look at the cast, it’s the top actors from every sector of the world and it’s putting me as a black man on the map. People have said that African-Americans were not viable on a world-wide level and we all know that’s not true.”
Crews, who is immensely funny, but serious about his craft, can also be seen in the movie “Middle Men” and upcoming flick “Lottery Ticket” with Ice Cube.
“Lottery Ticket is like the urban funny Expendables,” adds Crews. “I enjoy action, but I will never stop doing urban comedies. It’s my whole tuff and that’s how I started with ‘Friday After Next,’ ‘Who is Your Caddy?’ and ‘Soul Plane’. Those are the things I watch and enjoy and I want to bring it full cycle,” he continues. “Stallone has really blessed me and endorsed me, and I feel honored to be in this position and be the next in line along with the Wesley Snipes and Carl Weathers of this world.”