Tag Archives: Are We There Yet

Terry Crews Learned Important Lessons in Harder Times

Terry Crews

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.

Perils of Step-Parenting Familiar to ‘Are We There Yet?’ Star Terry Crews

If Terry Crews looks convincing as an embattled step-parent in TNT’s June 2 debuting “Are We There Yet?” it could be because the NFL veteran-turned-actor knows the territory.
“There’s a lot of similarities to my own life. My wife was a single mother when I met her,” he tells us. “It was one of those things, an instant family right off. Her daughter was two years old, and it was ‘No, I don’t like you. I want Mommy.’ I had to deal with that all the time. You have to love the kids, but the kids don’t love you. You have to earn their trust. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

As fans of Crews’ reality show, “The Family Crews,” know, his step-daughter is now 22 and pregnant, and Crews and his wife also have three more daughters and a son, ranging in age from 18 to three. The show begins filming its second season this month.

“I was petrified, so many things could have gone wrong,” he recalls, speaking of the BET offering that follows the doings at his high-energy household. “We took a risk — What if America doesn’t like me? What if America doesn’t like my wife or my kids? But the opposite happened and I’m so happy.”

Crews looks like a natural to take over the role of the harassed yet good-hearted sudden father that Ice Cube brought to life in two big-screen “Are We There Yet?” hits. Still, having the rapper/actor on the scene as executive producer and costar might seem nerve-wracking. Crews says he welcomes the star’s presence on the series. “It was like when I did ‘The Longest Yard’ in 2005 — having Burt Reynolds from the original movie in the new one validated the whole thing.” Plus, Ice Cube put him at ease, he says. “He said, ‘I don’t want you to feel like you have to be me.’ He was just so cool about it.”

As for his wife’s feelings about him playing a sitcom stepfather? “She loves it,” says Crews, the former “Everybody Hates Chris” father, whose latest film is Sylvester Stallone’s August release “The Expendables” action movie. He adds, “There aren’t that many shows the family can enjoy together.”

Ice Cube Making His Presence Known on TBS’s New ‘Are We There Yet?’ Series

Ice Cube

Ice Cube feels like he got the best of both worlds – as actor and executive producer — with TBS’s June 2-debuting series spinoff of his hit “Are We There Yet?” big screen comedies.  He tells us that Revolution Studios chieftain Joe Roth “wanted to do a third movie, but I really didn’t want to do that, artistically.  Then he said, ‘Let’s take it to TV.’”
When “Everybody Hates Chris’” Terry Crews and “Half & Half’s” Essence Atkins started talking about taking over his and Nia Long’s roles as Nick and Suzanne from the movies, “I got really interested,” says Cube.

Although he isn’t starring in “Are We There Yet?” Cube makes it clear his character is more than a fleeting visitor.  “I pop in every now and then like a hurricane.  I make my presence known.  I play Suzanne’s brother.  He’s overprotective.  He saw her get hurt once, and he’s not going to let Nick or any man do it again. Him and Nick don’t’ see eye to eye.  There’s conflict there.  It’s a good story,” says the multi-talent, whose character is a SWAT team member.

“It was kind of cool to be able to do a sitcom and not just have a  little cameo, but a role with some real meat on it, that’s different from what people have seen me do,” adds Cube.  He tells us he worked in an overseer capacity behind the scenes, while others “did the heavy lifting.”

MEANWHILE:  With the first 10 “Are We There Yet?” episodes in the can, and the “Straight Outta L.A.” ESPN movie documentary he directed just launched earlier this week, Cube has a full summer ahead, including a 22-date tour with Limp Bizkit before beginning starring stints with Woody Harrelson in the big screen drama, “Rampart” late in the season.

Rapping Ice Cube and rocking Limp Bizkit don’t make for the first combination that would come to a lot of music fans’ minds – but the former N.W.A. lead reminds that his relationship with Bizkit frontman Fred Durst and the band goes way back.  “We went out together years ago on the Family Values tour with Korn.  And Fred directed me in a movie I did, ‘The Longshots.’  He did a great job.  He’s a great director,” says Cube.  “Before he did the movie, I said, ‘You still in rock and roll, man?’  And he said, ‘No, I’m going to be a director.’  Then I hear he’s setting tour dates,” he notes with a laugh.

That’s a man of many hats after his own heart.