Brandon Goodwin / TODAY.com
Terry Crews may be known for button-popping pectoral flexes and window-shattering screams in his Old Spice commercials, but there's more to the 44-year-old actor and former NFL linebacker than meets the eye. Crews and his wife, Rebecca, sat down with TODAY.com to discuss everything from diaper-changer to acting and everything in between.
Q: Between the NFL, acting, and raising your five kids, which has been the most challenging?
Terry: The biggest challenge, really, is balancing your own career and five kids, because there is no give at all... I always have this guilty dad thing, too, where I come home and then I just make up (for being gone) and indulge too much.
Rebecca: And then I have to say "you’re spoiling our children," because Terry will come home and take them to every theme park in a 100-mile radius.
Q: How old are your kids?
Terry: The youngest is 7, he’s a little boy, Isiah. The rest are all girls. A 10-year-old, Winfrey, 14-year-old Tara, 22-year-old Azriel, and a 26-year-old, Naomi... Even the dog is a girl. It’s a lot of estrogen in the house. I have a feminine side, I’m going to tell you that right now. That’s why I’m wearing a lavender shirt. Otherwise, they’re like ‘No, Dad, you don’t look good.’
Q: What was the biggest challenge when you became a new parent?
Terry: The baby was 6 months old when we started dating, and then she was 2 years old when we got married, so I had instant family... There were times when I felt like "I can’t do this." I’d just sit there thinking, "What do I do, she won’t stop crying, what can I say?" But you find you go another day, and it’s all different. It’s all wonderful. You just gotta get through the moment. It’s like a storm. You just remind yourself, it won’t be this way all the time.
Q: How do your kids feel about the Old Spice commercials?
Terry: Embarrassed. Thoroughly.
Rebecca: I’m embarrassed.
Terry: If you’re not embarrassed a little bit, I ain’t doing it right. That’s called good comedy! If it doesn’t make you cringe for just a second, it didn’t work.
Q: Do you think your son will play football like you?
Terry: Yeah! He’s very athletic. But the thing is, he won’t have to... he’s not going to have to get a scholarship.
Rebecca: But he still has that competitive spirit. He's a very sore loser.
Terry: The thing is, I would never put him in football now. It’s too early. He has to be literally 14 or 15 years old just to even start. It’s ridiculous, kids starting in football right now. It doesn't really make any sense. All they can do is just get hurt.
Q: Does the increasing prevalence of head injury influence whether you want him to play?
Terry: But this is the thing: I don’t want him to get hurt, but you can’t stop kids from getting hurt. Every time they learn to walk, they bounce into the corner of that coffee table, and I’m like ‘No!’
Q: Do you have any new projects coming up?
Terry: I just got a new pilot with Andy Samberg... the guys from "Parks and Recreation" are putting it together. Also, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," "Scary Movie 5," and then I have a Tyler Perry movie coming out called “Single Moms Club.” And the word is they have "Expendables 3" in the works... I’m doing everything right now.
TODAY's Willie Geist and a panel of three men from various walks of life – marriage and family therapist Hal Runkel, actor and father of five Terry Crews, and author Sam Sheridan – give a guy's perspective on common relationship and family issues.
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