Actor Terry Crews is best known for his adorable giant character and for his muscularity, which he often uses for comedic effect. However, his motivation to get in shape came from a dark place.
During an appearance on Running Wild With Bear Grylls, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star explained that he decided to get stronger at the age of five because of his abusive father.
Growing up was not a good experience. My dad was very violent, you know, he beat my mom. And so, that was one of those things where I knew I had to get stronger because someday I thought I would have to fight it. That’s how it started, Crews said as quoted by Yahoo Entertainment.
Crews, 52, also explained that he uses comedy to lighten things up in his family.
There was a lot of sadness, you know, with my dad who was an alcoholic, and it was so violent at home, and I just remember being able to do [my mother] laugh, and she would just crack. I mean, his laughter echoed throughout the house. And, uh, that’s one of the things that gives me the most satisfaction today is doing people good, he added.
The actor, who was once an NFL player, has appeared in comedies such as White Chicks and in the action movie franchise The Expendables. Crews went on to recount a violent confrontation with his father in 2000 and why it brought him no peace.
Bear, I beat this man, said Crews. I remember he begging, begging, and all I could think of was, like, that’s how my mom felt. How do you like it? And that’s the thing, Bear. I thought it would do good. And he was on the floor, bleeding, crying, and I didn’t feel any better.
Crews says he later forgave his father for his past wrongdoing and that they reconciled. The actor has since advocated against toxic masculinity and domestic violence. He’s even been a voice in the #MeToo movement, having shared his story of being groped by a male Hollywood executive.
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