Terry Crews is back for the wild, testosterone-fueled ride as Hale Caesar in Expendables 2. The one-time NFL star, 44, is still in amazing shape and can kick butt like the best of ’em, even senior citizen action stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. He talked to us while on a recent stop at the Soho Beach House in Miami Beach.
How do you like visiting Miami?
I love the culture. I love the heat. It’s great for your skin and good for you. I have my best workouts here, right on the beach, running all the way down the boardwalk. Good stuff. But I’m getting so popular I can’t do it as much. People are like, “Hey!”
What do fans know you for most?
It’s funny, because I’m popular in different sectors. I have a very broad base. Teenagers know me from White Chicks or The Longest Yard. Guys know me for The Expendables or my Old Spice ads. Parents and kids know the dad in Everybody Hates Chris. It’s a really cool feeling.
Anyone ever get too close for comfort?
No, because I’m a big guy. I’m my own security. I can see where Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian would be like, ‘Oh God, they’re too close to me!’ Me? I’m like, “OK man, back up!”
What do you think of our Dolphins?
In the NFL, you really don’t know. You could have the best team, then have injuries. I do have a prediction: I see them in the playoffs this year. They were bad enough over the last two years to realize they’re bad. They are willing to work hard and know they need to improve.
Do you prefer acting or football?
Acting is awesome. I’m a big kid. Every man is a 14-year-old inside. We never go past 14 even when we’re 90. I promise you when the door closes in the White House, Barack Obama stands up on his desk and goes “Yeah, yeah!” These are real facts, here.
Ever met Obama?
Yes, back when he was campaigning. He was really cool and told me he loved how I played President Camacho in Idiocracy. See, everyone has their favorite movie of mine!
How do you like all the guns and blowing-up scenes as opposed to comedy?
Hollywood has a way of putting you in this little fold and they don’t want you to come out. If you are a soap opera star, you have to do something drastic to get out of there. I started out in action but ended up in comedy, where I made my mark. People say you’re funny, we don’t want you to do action. With a body like this, the way I look? I’m sorry, but action is part of my wheelhouse right now!
How was working with all these legends?
It’s so great to be a part of this. Sly [also a screenwriter] has been my mentor all the way. He’s actually one of the funniest people you ever want to meet. These guys are my brothers. Women bond through fun, they go to the mall. Men, we bond through pain. Some of my best friends, the first time we met we got hurt.
Speaking of pain, anything happen on the set?
There’s hurt, then there’s injured. If you’re injured, it means you’re going to the hospital. Hurt means, “Aw, I’m going to feel that for the next three months.” If you can still walk, you’re going. We all got banged up, that’s for sure. But there’s no complaining when you get men in their 60s doing what they’re doing. And Chuck Norris is 72! When you see him you think, “I’d better not say a word.”
How is Sly doing in the wake of his son’s death?
I tell everyone: We are in the movie business, but this stuff happens in real life. My heart goes out to him. No one can imagine what he is going through. I have five kids and I’m a grandfather and my heart broke. But I tell you, he’s one of the toughest men I’ve ever seen. We’re holding it down for him, no matter what. He’s done so much for me and my career. I got his back.