Terry Crews just has a good time. He laughs easily, frequently and loudly.
Whether he talks about his NFL days, his five kids or his latest role as Sgt. Terry Jeffords on Fox’s Tuesday comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Crews is laid back and ready for fun.
At 45, Crews says he’s happily surprised with life.
“I thought I would be a special effects artist after I retired from the NFL,” he tells Zap2it at a FOX party. “I moved out here, and I ran out of money, and a friend invited me to go on an audition. And I got it. It was ‘Battle Dome.’ It was ‘American Gladiators’ to the 10th power — we were sending people to the hospital. And then I went on a movie audition. The first movie audition I ever got was ‘The 6th Day.’ “
Since that 2000 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Crews has worked steadily.
“I don’t know what I was doing,” he says. “I never took a class. I have always been a ham. I was the Jake Peralta of my locker room.”
He refers to Andy Samberg’s smart-aleck character on the show.
Crews’ character is a tentative man. Since becoming a father to twins — Cagney and Lacey — he’s afraid of pretty much everything. This presents a problem when you are a cop.
Crews says he’s having a blast on the show.
“I love the setups,” he says. “I love watching Andy fumble his way through.”
Crews’ lack of formal training is a help, and he compares acting to creating art.
“You get the same creative juices flowing,” Crews says. “You learn how to make mistakes, and that’s where I am right now.”
“Actors always have some judge, someone that they are trying to impress,” he says. “I try everything. I’ll do a guest spot on ‘Drunk History.’ “