From the moment Terry Crews answers the phone, I’m filled with nothing but aggressive joy. I don’t know how else to preface our interview. I really don’t. On paper, I’m supposed to chat to him about Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 7, which comes out next month. But in reality, a good chunk of my allotted time with the actor is spent talking about yoghurt and wholesome life advice.
Season 7 of Nine-Nine picks up right where season 6 dropped off, with Holt demoted as captain of the precinct to a regular officer. It’s a strange time in the bull pen, Crews says, because Holt is no longer in charge. He is. Sergeant Terry Jeffords has been promoted to lieutenant.
“It’s a really strange dynamic,” he says. “It’s so wild because you see the great Captain Holt walking around in an officer’s uniform. It’s horribly, horribly different.”
Crews can’t give away too much about his adored character’s arc in season 7, but he does say that Terry has to face the challenge of running the precinct.
“This is something he’s always wanted to do, but he’s realising how hard it is to lead so he’s got a newfound respect for everything that Captain Holt was doing.”
Terry Jeffords’ promotion aside, Terry Crews still struggles to express how thankful he is for the role.
“I’ve never played a character for this long in my career and it’s been an honour,” he says. “I have to say Brooklyn Nine-Nine has eclipsed every other project I’ve ever done in my whole 20 years of acting. And it’s the most popular character with my fans, and the one the people love most.”
The fans, he sighs. He bloody loves us, especially when fans give him yoghurt.
“The yoghurt thing is huge!” he laughs. “I’ll be in the grocery store and fans will look at my cart and they’ll say, ‘Do you have any yoghurt?’ And I’m like, ‘I got it!”
One time, at Comic-Con, a couple of fans handed him little tubs of yoghurt. They had been standing outside for three or four hours just to see the Nine-Nine panel.
Another time, a yoghurt company sent him a stacked yoghurt fridge. I ask Crews what he does with all the yoghurt.
“I eat as much as I can,” he laughs. “Me and yoghurt have a really great relationship. It’s a healthy treat, it’s a good dessert, so I have no problem. I love it. That’s the reason why the yoghurt is in the show, it’s because they saw me eating it all the time on set. It’s not like they’re giving me something I don’t like! ”
And then I ask him about Berry Crews. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
“Berry Crews!” he exclaims, the excitement in his voice is undeniable. “Yes, I’m working on my own yoghurt. Berry Crews is going to happen!”
I repeat, Terry Crews is working on his own yoghurt called Berry Crews. Incredible scenes. It’s been years in the making, but it’s going to happen.
He says his team are currently looking at manufacturers. “We’ve had some openings and we’ve looked at some companies, but I really want quality, quality yoghurt. I want to make sure it’s great, it’s probiotic, it’s beautiful, and I don’t want people to eat it and think it’s just okay.”
Ever the ray of sunshine, I ask Crews how he stays so positive. And let me preface this next part by saying that it’s a tad pure.
“The way I’ve been doing life – if you let your brain just go, it grows weeds. Weeds have flowers, they have little buds and everything, but they’re actually choking out the life of the rest of your garden.”
Crews’ voice is suddenly so gentle I want to cry.
“And I have to clean my brain out every day,” he continues. “It’s kind of like a fish in water and the water gets murky, y’know? I constantly, when I’m working out, I’m listening to things that are positive. I listen to things that are great, that make me feel good and make me feel good about myself. These are things that will get the weeds out of my garden. And what happens is that those good habits add up to a lot of successful things, and you might see the world in a better way.”
For this reason and many, Crews knows a lot of people look up to him, but he doesn’t feel any pressure because of it.
“I feel like we’re all an example. All of us. You just gotta remember that there’s only really one rule, the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It’s as simple and as important as that, he says.
The premiere double episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 7 hits SBS, 8.30pm on Friday, 7 February.