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August 2007
BALLS OF FURY: An Interview with Terry Crews

An Interview with Terry Crews

By Wilson Morales

August 27, 2007

By Hollywood standards, standing at 6’2 may seem tall and almost intimidating, but for Terry Crews, it’s completely the opposite. His height hasn’t deterred him getting a lot of pivotal roles over the years and while most know him from the comedy films he’s done, he can also reinvent himself in the dramatic field as well. Coming from the NFL, and like all newcomers in the business, Crews has some small parts in ‘Serving Sara’, ‘Friday After Next’, ‘Starsky and Hutch’, and ‘Soul Plane’, but really made a splash when he played ‘Latrell Spencer’ in ‘White Chicks’, directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans. Since then, Crews has had meatier parts in ‘The Longest Yard’, ‘Harsh Times’, and is currently doing well playing the father of a young Chris Rock in TV’s Everyone Hates Chris. Coming up for Crews is another comedy is which stars along with Christopher Walken, Aisha Tyler, and Dan Fogler in the comedy ‘Balls of Fury’. In speaking with blackfilm.com, Crews talks about his role in the film, working with Walken, and his upcoming projects, including ‘The Night Watchman’ with Keenu Reeves.

Talk to me about the character you play

Terry Crews: I play a guy named Freddy Fingers, who’s basically the And-One version of a ping pong player, and with the whole streetball, basketball disability, he brings that whole thing to ping pong. It’s a really funny part.

What interested you in taking this part?

TC: It’s was just funny. First, it was from the guys who created ‘Reno 911’ and the wildness of their comedy. I just saw a chance to work with those guys and fit in my schedule. I was doing the show, ‘Everyone Hates Chris’ and ‘Norbit’ at the same time. I had a little window and they invited me to come in and had fun working with Dan Fogler, George Lopez, Aisha Tyler, Christopher Walken, all good people and I couldn’t pass this chance up.

You’ve done a lot of comedic roles as of late. Why do you like this particular genre more than others?

TC: It’s a way to get to success. If I had my early years as a success doing dramatic work, I would have done more of those, but the comedy thing just kept coming. In a way, if you’ve got the hot ticket, you have to keep selling it. For me, comedy has always been my forte. I’m a clown anyway. I have the most fun. I can really go for it. That’s pretty much what it is.

How was working with Christopher Walken and the cast of the film?

TC: Let me tell you something. I want to have a career like Christopher Walken. To go from ‘Deer Hunter’ to ‘King of New York to ‘Man on Fire’, he’s very intense in his work. We were in the same movie awhile back in ‘Click’ with Adam Sandler and he can be as wild and crazy. I really enjoyed him in ‘Hairspray’. There are no rules for Christopher. I really cherished the chance to work with him and it was a great experience.

Was there any particular scene that you enjoyed doing?

TC: The big scene between me and Dan Fogler and we have our giant ping pong match and we sort of have a dance-off on our way up to the table. There were several different things going on and Christopher was watching and he was reacting to all the stuff we were doing and it was really an electric set and you can tell from the trailer that we were all having a ball. It’s tracking really well and I think it’s going to do good.

You have another comedy lined up for next year playing ‘Agent 91’ in ‘Get Smart’. Can you talk about playing that part?

TC: Yes, I play Agent 91 and David Koechner is my partner. He plays a guy named Larabee and we work in CONTROL, which are the good guys and we’re trying to save the world along with Steve Carell and The Rock and Anne Hathaway. It’s a great ensemble cast. The same guy who directed ‘The Longest Yard’, Peter Segal invited me to come along. This is sort of like an intense comedy and almost like ‘Die Another Day’ but funny. It’s the same explosion, same action, but it’s Steve Carell doing it. I was always a fan of the TV show and to get a chance to be in the movie, it was an honor. I embarrass myself in everything I do and that’s pretty much what people expect. It’s going to be very funny.

How much do you remember the series?

TC: It used to come on late at night in Michigan. I really enjoyed watching Don Adams and his kind of comedy. This is Mel Brooks from way back in the day and I’ve been a fan of his kind of work as well. It was good. I’ve never been a comedian but I’m always a fan of funny actors. When I got a chance to be in this film with Steve Carell and all those guys, I jumped at it.

You’re also flipping the script and the dramatic film, ‘The Night Watchman’. What’s your role in that?

TC: It’s one of my very intense dramatic films with Keenu Reeves and Forest Whitaker. I play a guy named Washington, who basically was Keenu’s ex-partner and there were a lot of bad things going on in the department, and my character tried to leave and go straight and a lot of people didn’t want me to because I knew too much. I’m not giving too much away but my role tends to be pivotal and Keenu’s character realizes that he needs to get out too. It’s a very, very really intense LA style drama. My boy David Ayer directed it. He wrote ‘Training Day’ and directed ‘Harsh Times’ and it’s a big dramatic role for me. This is the one I’ve been waiting for a long time.

How’s the TV show going?

TC: It’s going great. We have a new season of ‘Everyone Hates Chris’ coming out on October 1st and we’re really pumped up about that. We’re near the end of taping all of the third season episodes. Chris Rock himself will be in the season premiere. That’s really exciting.

Why should anyone go see ‘Balls of Fury’?

TC: ‘Balls of Fury’ is a fun time. It’s sometime to see right before you get back to serious work by Labor Day and it’s the last fun movie of the summer.



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