Actor and presenter Terry Crews has spoken openly about his desire to become physically strong in response to a traumatic childhood.
Speaking on Steven Bartlett’s The Diary of a CEO podcast, The Expendables and Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor spoke about the abuse he witnessed as a child and his belief he may have needed to defend himself.
“A lot of my desire to be strong was because I knew one day I may have to kill my father because he was just that person,” he told Bartlett.
Crews opened up about the fear he felt as a child of a man that was so much larger than him.
“I just always felt tiny,” he said. “I remember just looking at his hands and they were big giant calloused hands and the way he’d walk around the house you just hear ‘boom boom boom,’ you know? It was a drama. You know it was like, ‘This man could rip me apart.’ “
Crews’ father, an alcoholic, would regularly abuse his mother, Patricia, with the young Crews once witnessing her being ‘knocked out’ by her husband. When asked by Bartlett if he had ever tried to intervene, the actor replied, “He was too big, I mean it was one of those things where I felt helpless, I felt 100 percent like I was so small.”
He recalls watching a report on the news when he was a child about a family being killed: “I would always look at the TV and I would say, ‘You know, I think I my father could do that.'”
Crews reflects that his upbringing made him a people-pleaser for a while, causing him to lose his sense of self.
“I guess it was a very, very intense upbringing and I became this person who just wanted to keep the peace, he explained to Bartlett. “Anything to keep the peace. I became what you would call a pleaser.”
Crews was successful in his quest to get strong, becoming a successful NFL player before retiring from the game in 1997 to pursue his acting career.
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