Confess, you wondered about it, too: Did Terry Crews really lift that car in "Fancy Brugdom," the March 11 episode of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"? If it were anyone else, you'd assume it was a bit of behind-the-scenes trickery that led to that scene where his Terry Jeffords lifts the back end of an auto with his bare hands. But, this is Terry Crews we're talking about, so... did he?
"I tell everybody, the fart [in the episode] was real, but lifting the car was not," laughs Crews, whose character's flatulence and auto lifting were the result of dieting with his fellow detectives in the episode.
"Let me tell you something," he continues. "I could probably do it one time, but there would be no more 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' for me after that. It would be all over for me after that."
Check out the scene:
Crews and his Fox comedy co-stars conclude their Golden Globe-winning freshman season Tuesday night with an episode that will include a cliffhanger (no worries, the show was renewed for a second season earlier this month). The NFL alum talked to Yahoo TV about what to expect from the season ender, his favorite moments from Season 1, how much he has in common with his TV alter ego, his contribution to the cast's gag reel, and his upcoming memoir, where he shares the secrets of being a father of five (and grandfather of one) who's been married to wife Rebecca for 25 years.
What can you tease about the Season 1 finale? Any surprises in store for the audience?
There's going to be the shock of your life! No one's going to see this coming. No one. I can't give it away, but, at the end, we were... at the table read, we were all like, "Oh, my God!" It's really a cool surprise, and it's going to keep everyone waiting with bated breath until the first episode of Season 2. Really, it's a doozy.
Watch a preview of the Season 1 finale:
There have been so many great Terry moments in the first season, from him being defeated by the fairy princess castle to the sleep chin-ups. What has been your favorite?
It's hard to pick. This show has been just the most amazing adventure for me. Even last week's ["Unsolvable"]... that one was really about the relationship between Jake [Andy Samberg] and I. I love this whole thing, because I'm basically the mom of the precinct. Holt [Andre Braugher] is the dad, I'm the mom, and it's how we deal with our kids. I love the fact that I'm very protective of Jake and the others, very protective of my crew.
Actually, there was one storyline where I had to back up my guys while we were doing self-evaluations. Captain Holt was doing them, and Terry had to come in and tell him he was being too hard on them. I was that in-between, who's like the mom, where Dad would be merciless, but Mom is always there to give you the empathy you need. I can be hard, but I'm very empathetic to Jake and to everyone there. Overall, I love the dynamic that we have as a cast.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has one of the best comedy ensembles in primetime. Did you all gel immediately? It's a rare situation, to really have that chemistry work with an entire cast, isn't it?
I've been on [projects] where it never happens. I've done movies, done projects where you're like, "That was the hardest experience ever." It's one of the areas where I have been truly, truly blessed to work with this kind of talent. First of all, Joe Lo Truglio has been a go-to guy for years in this business, and when I see the stuff that he's doing, I go, "My God, he's killing it." I'm a fan of this cast just like everyone else is. There are a lot of scenes that we don't get to do together, and I have to wait to watch just like the rest of America, and I'm laughing right along with everyone else. Melissa [Fumero], Stephanie [Beatriz], Chelsea [Peretti]... it just keeps going with the talent, and they're willing to give. That's really what makes us gel, that everyone is really selfless in that. If one of us wins, we all win. I've seen other shows where one guy wants to stand out, and it's totally obvious. But we really feel like Andre's joke is everybody's joke. Joel and Dirk, who play Scully and Hitchcock, they're such an important part of what this world is. I think that makes a healthy environment for comedy. You can't be selfish... it will implode on you, because you eventually need someone to bounce off of, and we get it. It starts with Andy. He's got that "Saturday Night Live" experience, where they give, they share, they know how to improve a joke, improve a theme.
And it's experience. Dan Goor and Mike Schur, the series creators, basically cut their teeth on "Conan," on "The Office," on "Parks and Recreation," and made all their mistakes on those shows [laughing]. We've really benefitted from that. We were able to get in much more quickly and find out what works on our show. I value their experience, and I value who they are. There's no mistake that "Parks and Rec" and our show have been recognized as being among the best shows on TV, because these guys know what they're doing.
How much is TV Terry like real life Terry?
They've done a great job of incorporating a lot of my personality into the character. I'm very emotional. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm one of those guys where, if you're my friend, I am your best friend. But if you're my enemy, God have pity on your soul [laughing]. I am very intense, and I go there. They do a good job of balancing that. Another thing is, I've been married 25 years. I have five kids. I'm a grandfather. I love being a dad. Being a dad and being a better dad is one of my top goals every day. I love being a father, and they really incorporated that into the show. They put so many elements in there, the minivan, the working out... and what's so great about that is that the workout element is done with humor. There's not a big sense of humor in the fitness [industry], but we approach it that way, and I love that.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" also has down that blend of comedy and heart, which is also tough to get just right. Terry and Jake bonding in "Unsolvable," and Terry's giddiness when he realizes Jake likes Santiago was funny and sweet.
It was a very special moment. We knew it was special when we were doing it, because you can't have comedy, great comedy, without great humanity. I feel like we're balanced. It's a thing where I can lift a car in one episode and talk heart-to-heart with Jake in the next. It's all doable.
Watch Terry's talk with Jake:
Just guessing, but with so many funny people on one set, there's probably a great gag reel coming on the first season DVD release?
[Laughing] Yes, there have been some great moments. When we were doing the "Ebony Falcon" episode, I actually hit Andy in the face by mistake. I was supposed to pull back, but I accidentally punched him. I was like, "Oh, my God!" He's like, "Dude." His eyes just welled up, and I said, "Oh, no, no. I just hit the star of the show. Is he going to be OK?" He was, but I think that's probably going to make the DVD.
Your book, "Manhood: How to be a Better Man – Or Just Live With One" comes out in May. What inspired it?
The reason I wrote a book is just because I receive so many questions about being a dad, being a husband, being a man. It's weird, because I would tweet something, and there would be questions, and then more questions, and with 140 characters, I'm like, "I'll be on Twitter for two years." So I thought, let me just write about all my experiences. The book is basically about all the mistakes that I've ever made, those that made me a real man. I had some moments of astounding immaturity that would just shock people, but I grew up. I learned, thank God, because if I didn't, I would be a total idiot. I tell people, read the book all the way through. Don't stop in the middle or you'll be like, "Man, this dude is an idiot!" [laughing]. But that's part of being a man. Really, all men are idiots, but that's just the real deal. You stick with them, and let them learn and let them grow, and they will get it eventually.
Crews on marrying his wife, a single mom:
Have to ask about the Luke Cage rumors. You know how many fans want you to play the role in the Netflix series. But are you interested in the project?
This is the thing. I am always open to everything. I would love to do that. I would love to be a part of it. But if it doesn't work out, if they pick someone else, life is still OK. Listen, I'll never be President. I'm OK with that. I would love to be Luke Cage, but that's not my decision. That's up to Marvel. That's up to all these other people. All I do is my best. If Luke Cage happens, I promise you, if I ever got that role, I would blow it up. I would be the best Luke Cage ever. But if they hire somebody else, I promise you it just wasn't for me. I enjoy what I do so much. This is a great, great life.
What will you do over your break, until you start on Season 2 of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"?
There are a couple of things on the burner that I can't announce yet, but it's going to be really big. A lot of big, big things happening. And I have "Draft Day" coming out next month with Kevin Costner, "Blended" with Adam Sandler, which is going to be amazing. And "The Expendables 3," so I'm going to be doing a lot of promotion on these movies.
And you just starred in another Old Spice commercial, the weirdest one — in a good way — yet.
I know! [Laughing.] Let me tell you, I love those. Old Spice, those guys, we just get together and create something so unique and special. We're in a world of our own and the world gets weirder and weirder.
Crews in his latest Old Spice spot:
The "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" Season 1 finale airs Tuesday, March 25 at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.