When five single moms from varying circumstances find common ground in their children’s’ problems at school, they forge an unlikely alliance, THE SINGLE MOMS CLUB. The new dramedy from filmmaker/producer Tyler Perry stars Nia Long (Best Man Holiday, Showtime’s House of Lies), Wendi McClendon-Covey (TV’s The Goldbergs, Reno 911), Zulay Henao (Takers, Fighting), Amy Smart (TV’s Justified) and Cocoa Brown (Lakeview Terrace, BET’s Comicview) with Terry Crews (The Expendables I & II, TV’s Brooklyn Nine-nine, Everybody Hates Chris).
The Lionsgate Pictures release, rated PG-13, opens nationwide March 14.
One is a writer, one a publishing executive, two homemakers and one waitress: all reflections of today’s single mother trying to balance life, love and longing. Terry Crews brings his muscular brand of comedy to the equation as Branson, an expressive admirer whose attempts to court one of the ladies are laden with missteps until he finds his groove.
The cast were in high spirits during a Los Angeles press conference to discuss THE SINGLE MOMS CLUB. I sat down with the happily married Terry Crews to hear his side of the story–
Sandra Varner/Talk2SV: How far have you gone or would you go for love?
Terry Crews: Wow, how far have I gone? Let me tell you something; I went so far the day before my 21st birthday that I married a woman, with a baby, and we’ve been married for almost 25 years. Let me also tell you that at the time, I did not know what I was doing. I had no idea what I was getting into. I think that’s about as far as you can go. When you enter into the marriage covenant you can’t break it; it’s there for life. A lot of people think they’ve gone far but until you really, really, really make that commitment, you ain’t done it.
Talk2SV: I enjoyed your character, Branson. As an actor in this role, you were able to free yourself and be this funny, funny, super-animated guy. In real life, if a guy like Branson came to your home and wanted to marry one of your daughters, how would you treat him?
Crews: First of all, I would say, ‘Branson calm down.’ You know, men see other men much differently; they see a guy like Branson and think, ‘OK, that’s just too much work you’re trying to do and there’s a game going on here.’ But, the good thing is, Branson’s got a big heart. He is a narcissist: he’s about his body, who ‘he’ is and wants to show it all off; at least, that’s the back story I gave this character. I thought he was probably raised by a lady just like Cocoa’s character and remembers, or see’s in her, the type of woman that he needs. He’s probably had girlfriends…this and that but now feels he needs a real woman; not a gold digger or somebody who is looking for what they can get rather somebody who is going to appreciate him. That’s how I saw it. I think Branson feels like he’s got a lot to give because again, with a single mom, you can’t play. You’ve got to love her and her kids; you’ve got to court the kids too and that can be a hard place, sometimes.
You have to really court the entire family because you’re all in; a lot of people talk about unconditional love and that’s great. But when you’re talking about a covenant and a commitment you’re talking conditions and one of them is–you’ve got to come home.
Talk2SV: There is something special about Terry Crews. Memory takes me back to a question you answered during the LOTTERY TICKET press interviews. I asked how had money changed your life and what good thing had you done for someone else since coming into money. You informed me that you paid your sister’s law school tuition and felt that it was the best check you had written once you had means.
Crews: I remember that…
Talk2SV: Since that time, I’ve probably watched your career more closely because of the impression you made with that response. How were you raised?
Crews: I have an alcoholic dad, a God-fearing mom and I describe it in my new book, “Manhood”. I had a father that was addicted to alcohol and my mother was addicted to religion, which is something people never really want to talk about: two different things and the house went this way (motions with his fingers) but, in spite of all that, they loved me with all their hearts. They saw to it that I had the best that they could give with what they knew and that’s how I was raised.
Talk2SV: What else can you tell me about the book?
Crews: Oh, it’s really about all of the mistakes I ever made. Basically, I was astoundingly immature in a lot of ways, things that I cringe to talk about now. I tell everybody, please just read it to the end, don’t close it in the middle. There are things in that book that might make you think, “Terry Crews is an idiot, oh, my God!” In my earlier years I had a strong sense of entitlement; I felt like people owed me something just for breathing, you know. I was very ungrateful…I was a blamer: I would blame my wife, blame my kids, blame my parents, blame everybody who I thought was responsible for why I didn’t get what I wanted. I blamed everyone but me. I wasn’t a man until I realized that I had to take full responsibility for what happened in my life, good and bad. That’s when I became a man.
NOTE: Crews’ new book, “Manhood,” is set to release May 20th, from Random House Publishers