Exclusive: Terry Crews Talks Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Exclusive: Terry Crews Talks ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2’
By Wilson Morales
September 23, 2013
Coming out this week is the ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,’ directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn with Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte, Neil Patrick Harris, Benjamin Bratt and Terry Crews voicing the characters.
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” picks up where Sony Pictures Animation’s mouth-watering comedy left off. Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention — a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and is now creating food-animals – “foodimals!” Flint and his friends embark on a dangerously delicious mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheespiders and other foodimals to save the world – again!
For Crews, who replaced Mr. T as Officer Earl, this is his first animated film. Crews has been on a roll lately, appearing on film and TV at the same time with ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ airing on Fox TV this Fall. He will also come back in ‘The Expendables 3.’
In speaking with Blackfilm.com, Crews talks about finally doing an animated film and his upcoming projects.
What role do you play in ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’?
Terry Crews: I play Earl Devereaux, the man who was originally played by Mr. T. It’s weird, man, because Mr. T killed the first one. Killed it. And, for some reason, he did not want do the second movie. And I was approached to take this thing. And I said, “Man, I’ve got do him justice.” First of all, Mr. T is my man.
Didn’t the character have Mr. T’s likeness in the first film?
Crews: Yeah. But, listen, me and Mr. T are a lot alike.
Have you seen what your character will look like?
Crews: Oh yeah. I did some cosplay with the outfit on. And the Internet has approved. They totally have been like, “Holy cow. He looks like just Earl.” So it’s a great deal, man.
What was the attraction to doing the film?
Crews: Well, it’s funny ’cause a lot of actors, you know, people think that actors get to choose everything they do. This was brought to me. I had been waiting and getting on my agent, “I want do animation. Big, big animation.” Not a lot of people can do it because you have to have that distinct voice and that whole thing. And I got this opportunity. Mr. T did not do it. I got it. It’s sort of like I got ‘Expendables’. Wesley was in jail. It’s one of those things. For various reasons, certain other people didn’t come through, and bam, I got it. And let me tell you something. You know, sometimes being third in the world is a good place to be. It’s not a problem. Not for me. I’ll be the second choice, third choice. But I’m going to kill it when I get in there.
Crews: That was different. That’s because, for one, I’m such an animated person myself. When you see me in the Old Spice commercials, I love dancing and putting stuff in. So it was really hard being a voice. But I would act everything out in the booth. So it was a lot of bumping around. They had to tell me a lot, ”Okay, Terry, stop jingling around. Don’t hit this podium. Don’t do that stuff.” So it was that way. But I’m made for it. I’m already an animated dude anyway.
What other animated films have you seen that you think you would like to be part of besides this? Why haven’t you done one before?
Crews: Well, you have to reach a certain place where people know your name. It’s really, now, it’s about selling your personality, and four years ago people knew my face but they didn’t know my name. Now, it keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So now I get people saying, ‘Wow, that’s Terry Crews.’ And people are actually asking for a Terry Crews type, which, you know, I sort of got this by myself. The comedy, the size, the ability to do drama, action, and comedy all at once. It’s kind of a rare…the Rock has it. We have Mark Wahlberg. Not a lot of us that can do a lot of comedy. So now I’ve reached a spot where they felt that they could put my name on it and people would respond. And it’s happening. It’s a business. The market will tell you what’s going on. I think more of these are going to start coming in a lot of ways. I was a big fan of ‘The Incredibles’. I would’ve been nuts.
Are you back in the new ‘Expendables’ now that Wesley (Snipes) is out of jail?
Crews: Yes and it’s all good. I’m here and Wesley’s back in. Wesley’s great. I saw him last Comic-Con.
What else do you have coming up?
Crews: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, my new show. Andy Samberg and Andrew Braugher on Fox. It comes out September 16th. We got right before ‘New Girl’ in the Tuesday block. It’s going to be good.
What happened with ‘Are We There Yet?’
Crews: We did it. We did a hundred episodes. Let me tell you something. I am the only guy with a name who’s successfully done a 10/90. You know that whole format where you do the hundred episodes, it goes into syndication. They’re having problems with Charlie Sheen right now trying to do ‘Anger Management’. They’re talking…I know Martin and Kelsey Grammer are trying to do a 10/90. Rosie O’Donnell. Roseanne is trying to do one. Roseanne Barr. But, I’m telling you, it’s harder than it looks. We did three a week. We knocked it out. I moved my whole family to the East Coast. We did a hundred episodes. It’s done. It plays every day somewhere, all over the world. So we did a hundred. It’s done. I did my thing and it was really a learning experience. It was a chance to get your own show.
Crews: I had my own show. I love TV, especially good TV. And I knew I needed to connect with somebody like Andy Samberg and Andrew Braugher because it’s like ‘The Expendables’. It’s power in getting together.
A lot of people see you as a comic. Are there roles for guys like you who are big, tough, but play dramatic?
Crews: Well, this is the thing. I mean the stereotype has always been a guy like me playing something mean and big. And it’s sort of been done, you know what I’m saying? It’s like all the way from Michael Clarke Duncan in his movies. It’s sort of one of those things, the one he did with Tom Hanks. And I think, for me, this is my role. This is where I’m at. But you can always do drama. You can go from comedy to drama. You look at a guy like Jamie Foxx, you look at Will Smith. It’s harder to go from drama to comedy. It’s a harder sell. Because, personally, I think comedy is harder. Drama, you can always make people cry. But nobody can agree on what makes everybody laugh.
What about doing a comic book film like ‘Power Man and Iron Fist’? You’ve got the physique for it. You’re in the right age range that they’re hiring these guys for.
Crews: Well, first of all, I’m trying to take myself outta that running. Because everybody’s like, ‘I want to play this superhero character, that superhero character’. I’d rather make up my own. Make a brand new one, you know. ‘Blade’ was basically a failed character. That comic book didn’t do very well.
Well, it was a comic book, nevertheless.
Crews: No, what I’m saying is that you can still find different ways to make that. I think everybody’s is forcing this ‘Power Man’, Luke Cage thing. Man, it’s obvious, Marvel, for some reason, is not getting down with it. He’s being ignored. Hey man, he was probably in the ‘Avengers’. What can I say? You can’t force it on him. The market’s going to tell you what’s going on. So apparently they felt like, ‘we don’t really have to’. I know they’re bringing the Falcon in on one of these.
Yes, with Anthony Mackie.
Crews: Yeah, my boy Mackie’s going to play the Falcon, which is good. If it’s right for me, it’s right. If it’s not, it’s more life. I’m not going to be out here like, ‘Man…’ Life is fair. For me, I’m doing good.
Any other films you have coming up?
Crews: Well, I got another movie coming out with Adam Sandler I just finished in South Africa. It’s called ‘Blended’. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. I spent two months in South Africa. I basically play the South African Tom Jones.
Are you singing?
Crews: Oh yes. It’s a lot of everything. I think you’ll be surprised. Let’s just say that. Adam let me go nuts.
How’s working with Adam again?
Crews: That’s my man. The Happy Madison clan are my good people. So I’m doing that. I work and I spend time with my family. It’s really what it’s about for me. I don’t have an entourage. But I am about my business. I am totally about my business.