The Family Crews star is profiled in the June issue of the bodybuilding magazine.
(Photo: Muscle & Fitness Magazine, June 2011)
The Family Crews star Terry Crews is featured in the June issue of Muscle & Fitness.
If you thought you knew everything there was to know about Crews--think again.
Joe Wuebben profiled the 42-year-old actor and traced Crews' remarkable story from his humble beginnings in Flint, Mich. to starring in Hollywood blockbusters and television sitcoms.
Below is an excerpt of the Muscle & Fitness profile, which is now on newsstands everywhere:
Where do you go when your mother won’t let you leave the house because of the teenagers running around with Uzis, gold chains, and drugs for sale? “At every function, it seemed like somebody was getting killed,” says Crews. “It felt like Beirut. But you have to do something. You can’t just sit in the house.”
Aside from having both parents at home, Crews had two things going for him: He could play ball and he could draw. When he wasn’t admiring the muscular physiques of comic book superheroes and drawing the characters freehand, he was playing organized football and basketball, running track, or frequenting Flint’s Berston Field House.
All the local legends went through Berston, from NBA players Glen Rice, Mateen Cleaves, and Morris Peterson to NFL stars Carl Banks and Andre Rison. Crews spent most of his time in the Berston basement, lifting weights on a multipurpose contraption he calls the “Metal Monster” and a squat machine called the “Leaper.”
“I felt at a very early age that I had to get out of Flint,” says Crews. “You either leave or you’re gonna get trapped. And I decided that football was going to be my path out.” Crews didn’t party like most kids, and days were both structured and crammed with activities to keep him out of trouble.
School. Sports practice. Hit the gym. Come straight home at 7 or 8 o’clock. Repeat the next day. “Terry always had this drive that he was going to succeed, somehow, some way,” says his sister, Michael Crews. “He’s never been given a silver spoon. We come from Flint, and it’s pretty rough there, so he had to overcome a lot to get where he is now.” Ironically, Crews’ artwork was noticed as much as, if not more than, his athleticism. He attended Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan on scholarship the summer after his senior year in high school. He also considered an offer from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, which didn’t have a football team. “Terry was always an artist first,” says his sister. “He just happens to be a big guy who likes sports as well.”
“I’ve always lived this dichotomy of art and athletics,” says Crews. “Being in Flint, I knew I had to do something to leave. I felt like Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves, where he’s like, ‘I’m getting out of here!’ It was a dying town, and you realize, ‘Yo, my dream has to be somewhere else.’ ” A true underdog isn’t handed a free ride to Michigan or Ohio State out of high school. That’s too easy. The underdog walks on to a program that can only dream about Rose Bowls and Heisman Trophies—a place like Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Crews’ college choice, sans scholarship offer.
The Crews family could barely afford one year of college. That’s how long Crews had to earn a scholarship. After his freshman year at WMU, he was still a walk-on, so he begged his mom for just one more semester, and he finally secured his coveted scholarship. “I realized at that moment that nothing was impossible if you just don’t quit,” says Crews.
“I found that you can wear people down. Eventually you’ll get what you want if you just keep knocking."