By Christina Diem Pham
Get ready Marvelites! “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Terry Crews makes his Marvel debut as Blade in an all-new two-part “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man” Halloween event on Disney Channel this Saturday, October 5 at 9:00 p.m. ET!
|Blade on the attack in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
After a long career in television shows and movies, including “Everybody Hates Chris,” “White Chicks,” the Expendables films and “Arrested Development,” Crews took his talents to voice acting. Even better, we had a chance to chat with the man about Blade, including how this gig surfaced, and what his son thought of pops’ guest role next to Peter Parker.
“Over the last 10 years, I’ve gotten most of my entertainment from animated projects,” he tells us. “When [my agent] got me in that world, one of first things to come through was Marvel, and Marvel wanted me to voice Blade.”
While Crews watched Wesley Snipes in the Blade movies, he hadn’t read much of the character in the comics. Still, the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star was a fan of the Daywalker.
“I flipped out because [he] was already one of my [all-time] favorite characters!” Crews recalls energetically. “[With] the mix of a character I loved, [along] with the animation, it was like a you-had-me-at-hello [moment].”
Clearly Crews’ “you-had-me-at-hello” moment worked out, because he seemed to have a ton of fun in the sound booth with the other cast members.
“I got in there and was nervous,” he reminisces. “I was in there with some really seasoned voice actors who’ve done this for a long time. I thought [to myself], ‘Man, I don’t want to mess this up.’
|Blade's ready for action in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
“It’s funny because even though I’m a big guy, my voice isn’t a deep, deep voice,” he continues before bursting into laughter while mimicking a rather high voice for a man of his stature before sharing more.
“[There] were some great directors who [taught] me the tone, and when I [didn’t] do it quite right, they’d push me back over into the right lane…once we got in our groove, [I] found that voice, stayed there, [and] learned a lot.”
All that hard work came with some shenanigans too, as this guest star remembers his favorite moment in “Blade” and “The Howling Commandos.”
“One of my favorite moments was when you see Nick Fury facing off with Blade,” says Crews. “They’re face-to-face and in each other’s grill, and I was like, ‘That’s the coolest moment ever!’ You see Nick with his eye patch and Blade with the teeth, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is a movie waiting to happen.’ I was excited, [and] it was very cool!”
Obviously Blade embodies a much more serious and sinister persona, so the actor made sure that what he put out was suitable for his children, especially Isaiah, Crews’ eight-year-old son.
“The movies [are] so dark,” Crews describes. “They’re more for an adult audience, so I knew I had to stay away and keep it kid-friendly. [Knowing] my son will be watching this, I wanted to make it serious with a very light tone.”
|Spider-Man with Nick Fury and Blade in "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man"|
Throughout the interview, Crews mentions his kids multiple times, and tells us about Isaiah’s reaction to this voice-acting role.
“You would think it was the first thing I ever did in entertainment,” he laughs. “He doesn’t care about any of that other stuff. He said, ‘You’re Blade, are you kidding me? You’re going to be on Spider-Man?’ He’s already watched the series and is a fan of Disney XD, so [the kid] just flipped. It was so cool and makes the moment so worth it.”
Crews dropped some knowledge for the younger generation and Marvel-Disney audience who have dreams of their own.
“No one else can speak for you,” he begins. “No one else can think for you. No one else can talk for you. No one else can be you. You have to let your voice be heard. Be creative, do your thing, and don’t let anybody define you. You define yourself.”
The father of five went on, “You spend so much time trying to fit into somebody else’s world…with things you have no interest in doing. Do you, be you, and find out what you like. You’ve got to try everything to find out what you like. Once you find it, go with it and find your voice.”
Well said, Terry Crews. Can we pause for a round of applause please?
Now…swing into action with Spidey and gang as they battle Dracula and his minions alongside Blade and the Howling Commandos--Werewolf by Night, the Living Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Man-Thing--this Saturday on the Disney Channel at 9:00 p.m. ET!