Terry Crews Talks "The Expendables," Hale Caesar, Playlist and More
Tue, 23 Nov 2010 13:39:22
Terry Crews is the ultimate modern action hero.
He adds a palpable 21st century swagger to Hale Caesar, his character in The Expendables. Hale Caesar has all the hallmarks of classic heroes—he's tough, loyal, jacked and good with an automatic shotgun. However, he's also quick with a one-liner and downright hilarious at times. Crews definitely imbued a bit of his comedy background into Hale Caesar, making the character completely his own.
While in the midst of filming episodes of Are We There Yet?, Crews laughs, "I love doing family comedies as well as action films. I don't see any difference between making a hardcore action movie and being a dad because it takes hardcore action to be a father!"
Given that experience under the gun on and off-camera, Crews is always ready just like Hale Caesar. Watching the DVD and Blu Ray release of The Expendables, Crews makes for some of the funniest and fieriest moments in the film.
Hale Terry Crews…
Terry Crews sits down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about The Expendables DVD release, creating Hale Caesar, what's on his iPod, the first action flick he ever saw and so much more.
Has The Expendables experience changed on DVD for you?
Not at all! It's still the most epic and best movie of all time [Laughs]. I think that's a shameless plug. That counts. Doesn't it?
It's the best thing I've ever seen in my entire life—on DVD! They need change the title to that [Laughs].
Do you feel like Hale Caesar really became yours?
Oh yeah! He is me. I would blow away 50 people for my friends tomorrow. That's what's so great about what Sylvester Stallone saw. Originally, the part was held by Forest Whitaker. Then it went to 50 Cent. Then it went over to me. It was a wild experience casting it. Sly purposefully changed the script every time a new person was brought on. He watched my performances, and he'd seen what I had done. He was like, "I've got to tailor this to Terry." What he gave me was just incredible. There are a lot of personalities in this film, but there's not a lot of time to get into everybody's back story. You don't have a chance to wonder, "When did he get his pacifier taken from him?" [Laughs] There was a lot of character development, but Sly did it in iconic moments. Those particular moments said it all in a lot of ways. You saw a lot of what Hale Caesar was about in his relationship with Toll Road. This is his family. These are the people he's going down with. I love this dynamic that Sly put in all of his. He gave us moments that we could shine, and it'll never be lost on me. It's always a wonderful thing.
Is there anything you added to Hale Caesar you're personally proud of?
The actual guns [Laughs]…I'm proud that the way I look can't really be replicated. I have a scar on my lip. I'm muscular. I'm mean-looking. You can tap into that, but Sly also gave me a comedic element by ending a great scene with the line, "Remember this shit at Christmas!" It makes everybody say, "What the hell is that?" Those are Arnold Schwarzenegger moments. Arnold pretty much built a career on that. He'd do something that was totally badass and end it with a joke. It's the greatest thing. Sly put me right there in that category overnight, and I thank him for that. What can I say? People go a hundred years without getting a scene like that, and I'm like a one-man cavalry.
What would be on Hale Caesar's iPod?
It'd be a little bit of everything. There would have to be a little Mobb Deep and some Ice Cube. That would be mixed in with a little Nirvana. He's a real hardcore dude! He's not really into what's happening now. He's got his own playlist in his head. That's definitely the kind of stuff I played while I was in there. Crunk music has got to be what he's into [Laughs]. It's good stuff.
Maybe a little country to wind down?
He's got his wind-down moments. Sly was playing music on set all the times. They were very obscure bands though. We were really into it! He'd also play some blues and different music as well. Hale Caesar's from New Orleans. The whole point was to make him this hodgepodge of a lot of different things. Look, his friends are white [Laughs]. As a black guy hanging out with all of these white guys, you've got to be a hodgepodge. I'll tell you that right now.
What are you listening to currently?
I'm really on Janelle Monae. She is amazing. Bad Boy produced her. I think her latest album is a classic. Rick Ross's latest album, Teflon Don, is also incredible. You feel like you're watching Superfly but in 2010. Every song is like the new Superfly. The album puts you right in it. I don't have the whole new Kanye West album [My Twisted Dark Fantasy] yet, but from everything I've heard I'm like, "This dude is crazy amazing!" "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" from Teflon Don is killer! You could see Hale Caesar shooting people to that [Laughs].
Is there any movement on The Expendables 2?
I know Sly's working on the script now. Sly never stops working. As soon as the script is done, I'm sure the deals will start getting out there. He's got me! I told everybody I'd do it for free but my agent won't let me. He'll never ever let me work for free [Laughs]. I would do it, man! I'm there! I love Sly. I love the idea of another Expendables. I want more people in it!
What was the first action movie you ever saw?
One of the first action movies I ever saw in the theater was Rocky III. I remember my mother let me go see it by myself. First of all, Mr. T changed the game of what a movie villain was all about. This dude came like nobody else! You never saw anybody like this. This cat had a Mohawk! He threatened Rocky in front of his woman! He was like, "Get yourself a real man!" You saw the look in Sly's face like, "Woah!" I'll never forget it. He was Tyson before Tyson, literally. Mr. T was in there ripping heads off and killing people in the ring. Everybody forgets that! Mr. T was a force of nature. He was a real bodyguard who told people, "If you hire me, I'll die for you." That's how he got jobs! You aren't messing with anybody like that. Everybody else had their own interests, but he'd say, "I'll go to Heaven, and I'll still kick your ass!" Watching Rocky III changed the game for me. The fact that he was black really took it away. We'd gotten used to seeing two white fighters most of the time. Mr. T was so vicious and amazing. You understood where Clubber Lang was at. He was trying to get to the top. You've got to take down the best. This isn't UNO; this is boxing! Sly did the greatest job creating that. He knows those iconic archetypes that really resonate and make you scream in the theater. To actually work with Sly is a dream come true. If it ended tomorrow, I really put it down in the best way I knew how. I can say I'm happy!
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