Crews shared that he was only 5 when he realized he would need to start building strength in case he would one day need to fight his abusive father. "Growing up was not a good experience. My father was very abusive, you know, he used to beat my mother. And so, it was one of those things where I knew I would have to get stronger because one day I thought I'd have to fight him. That's how it started out," revealed Crews.
While opening up to Bear Grylls, Crews also shared that his comedy chops came from always wanting to make his mother laugh to offset the sadness in the house. Crews stated, "There was a lot of sadness, you know, with my father being an alcoholic, and it being so violent at home, and I remember just being able to make her laugh, and she would just crack up. I mean, her laugh just reverberated all the way through the house. And, uh, it's one of the things that gives me the most satisfaction today is making people feel good." When Grylls asked Crews if he ever did stand up to his father, the actor revealed that it happened almost 30 years later, in the year 2000.
"We went home for Christmas, and my father decided to beat her one more time. I mean, he had gone years without touching her, and he hit her in the mouth, knocked her tooth sideways, and I was, like, I told him, 'Get the kids out the house. Take the kids, everybody leave. Just leave me and him alone,'" explained Crews, who then admitted that he beat his father.
"Bear, I beat this man," said Crews. "I remember he was begging, begging, and all I could think of was, like, this is how my mother felt. How do you like it? And this is the thing, Bear. I thought it would feel good. And he's on the ground, bleeding, crying, and I didn't feel one bit better. It left me with nothing."
Years later, Crews went to therapy and decided to take a different approach to his relationship with his father, by forgiving him and thanking him for bringing him into the world.
"That was the best thing I could ever think of to tell him," said Crews as he began to get emotional and continued through tears. "We hugged, he cried. Man, all I wanted was for us to be a family and for him to love my mother as much as we loved her. And then at that moment, I knew we had transcended."
Crews concluded by saying that his relationship with his father is still not great, but they are healed. "By me forgiving him. By me finding one thing to compliment him and be thankful for, I was able to transcend that moment and we were able to transcend it and, and get past it. And I find there's a lot of things that you just have to cut your losses on. Move on, and reevaluate the situation as it exists today. And now, I have been able to move on," stated Crews.
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