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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Nothing says Valentine’s like Eddie Murphy in drag

    Terry Crews, center, is best known for his stints in the NFL and as Chris Rocks dad on Everybody Hates Chris. He takes another comedic turn as Big Jack in Norbit, also starring Eddie Murphy.
    Terry Crews, center, is best known for his stints in the NFL and as Chris Rock’s dad on “”Everybody Hates Chris.”” He takes another comedic turn as Big Jack in “”Norbit,”” also starring Eddie Murphy.

    “”Everybody Hates Chris,”” but they sure love Terry Crews, who plays the father on the hit UPN show. Crews follows his comedic work on “”White Chicks”” with a hilarious role as Big Black Jack in “”Norbit,”” which hits theaters Friday. Crews talked in a conference call about Eddie Murphy playing an Asian man, trying to keep “”Norbit”” PG-13 and why the movie will make the perfect Valentine’s Day flick.

    Wildcat: What kind of character do you play in the movie?

    Terry Crews: Basically “”Norbit”” is Eddie Murphy who plays a guy who’s married to the worst woman in the world – absolutely horrible. And she’s also in the worst family in the world. Her name is Rasputia, and I play her brother, Big Black Jack. And we basically wreak havoc on this poor guy’s life. And it’s kind of a love story because, you know, she’s so horrible and she’s cheating on him and doing all this crazy stuff and then he really finds the love of his life. And now, the question is: What does he do? I think it’s a great date movie, perfect for Valentine’s Day.

    W: With Eddie Murphy using a lot of prosthetics to play multiple characters and a whole lot of different getups, did you have trouble getting into character when you’re acting against that?

    C: Oh no, not at all. Actually that helps. You’ve got to understand, (Rick Baker) does Eddie’s makeup and (Baker) has eight Academy Awards, OK? He’s got more Academy Awards than anybody. I think he is a Leonardo da Vinci of makeup. And it takes two, because you can put any prosthetics on anybody, but you have to live it. And Eddie is a master at just becoming whatever he tries to do. He plays an 80-year-old Asian man named Mr. Wong. I actually treated him differently on the set. It was like he was an old man. I felt like he was brittle, and I talked to him differently when he was in the makeup. And then when he was Rasputia, this big 450-pound mean woman, I treated her differently. And then when he was Norbit, it was a whole another thing. And it was like acting with three different people completely.

    W: With you, Eddie Griffin and Murphy, did you guys have trouble keeping it serious and actually getting through the takes and scenes?

    C: Oh my God. You know, I know there’s going to be an unrated version. Wait until the unrated version is out. I was like, how is this movie going to be PG-13? I looked at Brian Robbins, you know, who directed it. I was like, dude, this is going to be PG-13? What the hell are you doing? I mean, it was so good at times. What we would do is play back other people’s scenes just to get us in the mood. It was like we have to be funnier than that, you know? It was like a funny competition, you know?

    W: Do you ever feel pigeonholed into certain roles because of your size?

    C: I know a lot of actors that are like, “”I’m not going to be stereotyped. I want to play a mountain climber and then I want to play, you know, a librarian, you know, in my next movie.”” Well what if the movies suck? So I’d rather be in good movies playing similar characters, because look, I’m a big black man. I’m not going to play a little white woman. So I can’t – there’s no way. I’m going to be who I am. Now, the key though, is to really just provide differences and nuances to different characters.

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