Terry Crews has his statuesque physique and a bit of serendipity to thank for helping to launch his acting career two decades ago.
To many, the 6’2’ former NFL player seemingly popped up overnight when he emerged as one of the stars of the comedy flick “White Chicks” in 2004. However, Crews actually gained one of his more notable acting roles two years prior while appearing in the third installment of rapper-actor Ice Cube’s “Friday” franchise.
Terry Crews (left) and Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr. (right) Photo: @terrycrews, @officialtinylister/Instagram
Comedian DC Curry, who played Uncle Elroy to Cube’s character Craig in the films, revealed the unexpected backstory of how Crews happened to be in the right place at the right time to land the gig.
“We was shooting, I think it was ‘Friday After Next,’ and Tiny [Tommy Lister Jr. who played Deebo] was having some confrontations, so the producer went out to get the director,” shared Curry while appearing on the “The Big Tigger Morning Show.” Curry went on to explain how Lister’s outburst ultimately cost him his role in the film. “He [the director] said, ‘Man go get Cube.’ Cube came out his trailer and had his little exchange with Tiny. Tiny was, you know, acting up.”
With Lister out, the film was still in need of a physically dominating male character to antagonize Cube and his co-star Mike Epps’ characters. Fortunately for production, Crews was not far away.
“Terry Crews was the valet for us, he was out there parking cars in a little tiny shirt, muscles sticking out everywhere. Ice Cube went out the parking lot and asked Terry Crews, ‘Hey can you act?’ Crews said ‘Yeah,’ and that was the beginning of Terry’s movie career,” recalled Curry.
While Crews himself has not made mention of how he came to be cast in the film, he has openly spoken about his overall start to acting. “My transition into acting was out of necessity,” explained Crews, while breaking down his career to Vanity Fair in 2020. “I had moved out to LA to get behind the scenes in entertainment and went broke.”
Crews currently hosts “America’s Got Talent,” which has made him even more of a household name on top of his numerous movie and television roles throughout his career.
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