Times are great for Terry Crews, with his TBS “Are We There Yet?” getting a 90-episode renewal – yes, that’s n-i-n-e-t-y as in 10 fewer than 100 – and his latest movie, Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables,” hitting at the box office and already prompting sequel talk.
But the nice guy NFL pro-turned-actor says he learned some of his most important life lessons during the harder times.
“I spent a year unemployed as an actor. I know what that feels like. You have to stick with it and believe, you have to concentrate on improving. I prayed a lot,” says Crews with a laugh. “I learned a lot playing in the NFL. You just keep going and you don’t stop. Keep going and keep playing and you’ll keep getting new opportunities. Take the smallest little opportunity and make something of it.
“I have to tell people also, sometimes you have to redirect,” he adds. “When something is not working out, sometimes you’ve got to get your mind off it. I decided to do other things for awhile, doing anything I could think of to keep that fire alive, until things started to break for me.”
That was when he found himself doing security duty for Ice Cube while the rap star made the movie “Friday After Next.” After that, Crews got a supporting part in Adam Sandler’s 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard” with Chris Rock. Chris Rock remembered Terry when it came time to cast his autobiographical TV show, “Everybody Hates Chris.” That’s how Crews wound up playing Chris’ dad on the show for five years. And now, of course, he’s the TV counterpart of Ice Cube’s “Are We There Yet” loveable stepdad.
“Most of my business is repeat business,” notes Crews. It’s not hard to see why.