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'Lottery Ticket's Terry Crews Says 'Typecasting Is Good', Compares Sylvester Stallone To Quincy Jones

At first glance, Terry Crews may look massive and intimidating, but he’s really the guy who smiles warmly, says hello or cracks a joke or two. Casting directors get it. Over the course of his acting career he has often been stereotyped as the bully⎯but more like the goofy bully you can’t help but love.

Crews is enjoying a busy actor's working holiday; he's doing tough guy double duty in two films during the month of August; starring in the action-packed, number one movie in the country The Expendables, and the urban comedy Lottery Ticket in theaters now. And of course you can catch him weekly in the new TBS comedy, Are We There Yet? (check your local listings). Crews talked to VIBE about the correlation between starring in two polar opposite films, his thoughts on being typecast and battling Isaiah Mustafah, that 'other' Old Spice Guy. ⎯Starrene Rhett

 

VIBE: Word on the street is that Lottery Ticket is a new hood classic, like Friday.

Terry Crews: I got my whole career going in urban comedy and [I hope] it's [one of the places] where my career stays. One good thing about these movies, even if it’s a typical role⎯you get to enjoy [a career] longevity because people watch them year after year. People still come up to me about Friday After Next all the time. All these movies⎯Who’s Your Caddy and Soul Plane⎯they’re [modern urban comedy] classics. Lottery Ticket has the vibe of Barbershop. It’s just one of those movies that people can watch over and over again.

Was there a lot improvisation with the dialogue? What was your inspiration for playing Jimmy The Driver?

Oh yeah, totally. Originally in the script, [my character] Jimmy the Driver was just driving around town. But we decided to expand upon this experience that really happened to me when I was at a Super Bowl in Detroit. I met a guy that was working at a Super Bowl party and he quit in the middle of the party and just got a drink right there. And I was like, 'Hey man, ain’t you supposed to be working?' And this guy took his little work vest off and said, 'Man, this party too good!'" [laughs]. I said, 'Oh my God that’s Jimmy the Driver.'  I told [Lottery Ticket director] Erik White that story. In the movie, Jimmy was there to do a job —to watch these guys— then all of a sudden he becomes a part of the posse. And that’s what makes it so fun. It’s [taken from] stuff from real life and then we ad libed. A lot of the character was just made up on the fly and we just kept going and adding stuff.

It’s fun watching you play these types of roles. But in a way, do you ever feel like you’re typecast?

Yeah, but let me tell you, typecasting is good. Typecasting keeps you working [laughs]. Bill Cosby was typecast, but he’s in his '70s and he’s still paid. Typecast me as an action star, as a comedian, as a big funny dude⎯I have no problem with that. Now I’m in a place all by myself. [Casting] people are asking for a 'Terry Crews type' and it’s an honorable place to be. It starts off with doing things that everybody expects and then it goes to surprising people with what you do. Arnold Schwarzenegger did it. He was the big muscular dude but then people saw that he was funny [and could be the] Kindergarden Cop. He was typecast: as the cop, the tough guy, but not only is he the cop, he’s also the 'kindegarten cop.' So it’s about twisting all of these things that people expect and giving them way more in the end.

What would be your ideal role to play?

After being in The Expendables, one of the best action movies of all time, and then completing The Lottery Ticket that could be one of the funniest movies of all time, I see myself doing a great action comedy—I haven’t done that yet. [So far] I’ve either been in either the all-comedy world or all-action one but I’m ready to blend [the genres.] I’m just waiting for the right project. 

Describe was it like working with Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables?

It was awesome. Stallone co-wrote The Expendables, directed it and starred in it. I don’t know what else to compare it to other than being a musician and getting  [a chance] to work with Quincy Jones. This is one of the guys that invented the genre, [without him] there would be no action [films] as we know it. Stallone is also the face that launched a billion workouts. So to be  an action movie [with him], which is something he does best⎯and the fact that he picked me [to co-star in it]? Plus it’s not just him, it’s Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke? I can keep going [with the all-star cast.] It’s a dream come true. I literally had to pinch myself the whole the time. And my thing was to make sure I wasn’t the weak guy. I had to make sure I was ready.

What was training like?

It was hardcore. You wanted to make sure you were better in shape than the other guys. It was a healthy rivalry though. It wasn’t like people were trying to smack each other [down.] It was more like you and your sister you dress up and one wants to look prettier. Or you and your brother are wrestling on the ground and one of you is gonna try pin the other down first. I was just at an Expendables premiere in Vegas and it was like no matter what this movie does, we changed the world a little bit because we [all] got together. This is something you may never see in your life again. And this is a weird segue, but I have to take it back to Lottery Ticket, because I view it as a funny, urban Expendables.

[Laughs] Really?

Yeah, because you got all these stars, you got Bow Wow, Naturi Naughton, Brandon Jackson, Ice Cube, Charlie Murphy, Mike Epps⎯these are our guys and this is our all-star cast and there hasn’t been a big [urban] movie like this in a really long time. So it has the same feel as The Expendables to me in a lot of ways and I’m excited to be a part of both of these movies.

Speaking of competition, who would win in an Old Spice Battle between you and Isaiah Mustafah?

[Laughs] Isaiah would outwit me, he’s smarter than me. I’d come out screaming and hollering and Isaiah would say, “Look right there," then hit me with a pipe. I've gotta give it [up] to Isaiah, because the ladies like him. You can’t touch Isaiah because the ladies love him.

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DMX Joins Cast Of Upcoming Film 'Chronicle Of A Serial Killer'

DMX has some major deals lined up. The artist has reportedly signed on to join the cast of an upcoming thriller film, entitled Chronicle of a Serial Killer, according to HotNewHipHop.

The film reportedly follows the story of Henry Brolin, a serial killer who targets women who he thinks will eventually turn out just like his mother. DMX will reportedly portray one of the lead detectives on the case. X joins a cast featuring Tara Reid and Russian Doll's Brendan Sexton.

Steve Stanulis, the film's director said DMX was a "perfect fit" for the role. "When my casting director suggested DMX it immediately resonated with me as a perfect fit," Stanulis said. "I have no doubt he is going bring a different dynamic to the role and I'm excited to have him part of this talented cast. I'm looking forward to working with him and everyone else this summer."

According to previous reports, the new gig is just one of many opportunities that X has in the works. He's also rumored to be working on a several other box office films and a new album.

Chronical of a Serial Killer will reportedly begin filming in New York City in June 2019. It's unclear when it will hit the box office at this time. Stay tuned for more details.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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Trailer Released For Ava DuVernay's Central Park Five Flick, 'When They See Us'

Ava DuVernay's last work of cinematic excellence is coming pretty quickly. The writer and director's forthcoming film When They See Us has officially released the trailer, and in the 30th anniversary of the very event it memorializes. The Netflix film, which takes a look at the true story of the Central Park Five—five black teenaged boys who were falsely convicted for the April 19, 1989 rape of a white female jogger—is set to hit the streaming platform on May 31.

The four-part series will follow the lives of Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Jr., Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise over the course of 25 years, allowing viewers to follow their perspectives from accusation to conviction to exoneration to their eventual settlement in 2014.

 

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On this exact day 30 years ago, a woman was raped in Central Park. Five black + brown boys were framed for her rape. The story you know is the lie that police, prosecutors and Donald Trump told you. WHEN THEY SEE US is the story of the boys from their eyes and their hearts. May 31 on @Netflix.

A post shared by Ava DuVernay (@ava) on Apr 19, 2019 at 9:25am PDT

When They See Us boasts a laundry list of talented stars, including Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, and Marquis Rodriguez.

Take a look at the trailer up top.

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