Tales of the Strolling Lifeless is lastly right here on AMC, and the way higher to kick off the anthology sequence than pairing collectively outdated buddies Terry Crews and Olivia Munn in a post-apocalypse state of affairs? Within the episode, titled “Joe/Evie”, the duo trek throughout the nation to attempt to reunite to with their misplaced loves — solely to seek out they might have a stronger reference to one another.
Seems, in response to Crews, the duo had been thrilled to be paired collectively in actual life, too. “We now have the best rapport,” Crews advised Decider. “It simply felt like, right here we’re once more. And there was chemistry. It’s similar to two buddies hanging out, besides within the apocalypse.”
To search out out extra from Crews, together with why he joined The Strolling Lifeless, how the episode tied into his actual life rising up in Flint, Michigan, and what it was like working with the most effective canine actor ever, learn on.
Decider: I talked to Channing Powell just a little earlier this week and she or he mentioned a big a part of the explanation you signed up for that is you’re a fan of Strolling Lifeless. I assume that’s correct, however is that correct? And the place did that fandom begin?
Terry Crews: No, that could be very, very correct. It began when the present began… It’s an unimaginable present. What can I say? You recognize, I really like the best way it’s nearly psychology, man. I imply, when Rick Grimes wakes up in that hospital and rapidly the world is all completely different, that basically was a second I’ll always remember. I at all times take into consideration what would I do in that type of scenario, and I used to be hooked from the primary episode. What was so great is these characters have been part of my life, and also you type of dwell and die with them. You recognize what I imply? It began with like Rick and Shane, after which to see the relationships proven and all of the characters that preserve coming in after which after they go away, it’s similar to, there’s a mourning. I really mourn the characters. It’s brutally sincere. I believe it’s a type of reveals that doesn’t pull punches, and I adore it. One factor is I’ve carried out lots of comedy, however I’m an enormous, massive, horror/sci-fi fan. So, this was simply good. It was only a good, good combine for me.
Leaping into the episode, there are components of you within the character of Joe — the soccer participant component, particularly. However as Channing famous, you wouldn’t essentially consider you as a doomsday prepper. How a lot of it was you coming in embracing the character, versus tweaking it just a little bit to match your character?
One factor I say lots of instances is that this episode jogs my memory of what occurred in Flint, Michigan, as a result of we even referenced Flint within the episode, as he’s in search of Sandra. She could also be in Flint. However Flint was a metropolis that went via what I might name a Strolling Lifeless second. It was a stupendous metropolis. It was like Palo Alto. Normal Motors was the primary company on this planet, and rapidly, all of it ended. And I’ll let you recognize, even now once I return, there’s nothing that’s standing that was in my reminiscence. My highschool is gone. All of the buildings I used to go and hang around are gone, and it’s simply fields. There are complete neighborhoods which were lowered to rubble, and I channeled that to organize for Joe.
What was bizarre is as these things was occurring, I noticed it coming, even in highschool. And I keep in mind feeling like I have to be prepared. This is without doubt one of the explanation why I ready to play soccer and to get out, as a result of I knew the town is dying. After which the crack epidemic hit on the similar time. It was a double whammy. There have been so a lot of my buddies dying, going to jail. The entire cloth of the town modified. It was brutal. And that’s all I keep in mind.
Like, that was my massive preparation for what Joe was all about, as a result of he noticed it coming. And his complete factor was, I’m gonna be prepared. I keep in mind not even having girlfriends in highschool as a result of I didn’t need something to tie me right down to the town. As a result of I knew I’d have to depart. It’s vicious, it’s a brutal world and it was one factor that I knew I needed to prepare for whilst a child. That was the headspace I felt Joe was in.
Are you able to discuss just a little bit about taking part in reverse Olivia Munn? I believed each of you had such a extremely candy, optimistic rapport all through the episode.
Oh, Olivia, you recognize, we spent lots of time collectively doing Newsroom with Aaron Sorkin on HBO, and we even did some stuff on Lip Sync Battle collectively, and we’ve at all times been paired collectively. She even got here to my anniversary of me and my spouse, our thirtieth anniversary and frolicked with our household. And so we’ve been buddies for years. Been capable of name one another and like, hey, you recognize, recommendation on this, or what’s up? After which to seek out out… It was wild, as a result of I didn’t know who Evie was gonna be. After which I used to be Joe after which I received a textual content from her like, “Hey, guess what? We’re going to be killing zombies.” [laughs] I used to be like, “What?” And he or she was like, “This, you recognize, after I’ve had my child, the entire thing, that is good. The very first thing I wish to do is kill zombies.”
And we have now the best rapport. It simply felt like, right here we’re once more. And there was chemistry. It’s similar to two buddies hanging out, besides within the apocalypse, you recognize what I imply? So, we had no drawback simply leaping into what this was, and she or he’s such a superb performer and a superb actress. I couldn’t have requested for a greater associate on this present, as a result of that is actually completely different for me. Lots of people anticipated me… You recognize, I do lots of comedies and various things, however I do have a darkish aspect. This was the chance for me and I’m grateful to Scott Gimple and Channing and all of the Strolling household who welcomed me so effectively on this present.
On the grim facet, the canine dies proper at the start of the episode! Which is so unhappy and so exhausting to look at. What was it like taking part in that scene?
I keep in mind having these actually, actually tremendous love relationships with my pets. I had a canine named Huggy Bear once I grew up. Once more, and it was in Flint, and my mom by no means took them to the vet. And I keep in mind simply going, “Mother, I believe we received to take him to get some pictures or one thing.” And he or she simply was like, “Yeah, yeah I do know.” it’s horrifying, however the canine began to go mad. And it simply jogged my memory of that have, man. it’s so wild how this stuff take you proper again to a child, and I keep in mind them coming as much as get my canine and… We named him Huggy Bear off of Starsky and Hutch. And I remembered him pulling him away, and I by no means noticed him once more. It’s virtually deeper than a human bond, as a result of they have a look at you as like you’re their complete world. Oh, my God, the [dog] Gilligan was so good. And what was so loopy, he performed an outdated canine, which was nuts as a result of the canine, he wasn’t outdated in any respect. It was simply good. I used to be like, this canine is wonderful. Truly, good efficiency by a Doberman. I’m telling you that proper now.
They’re gonna put him up for the Canine Emmys.
That’s what I’m saying. He wants one. [laughs]
It’s left open ended there, would you need Joe and Evie to come back again? And if that’s the case, the place would you want them to finish up subsequent? On their very own present? One of many different reveals?
Initially, I might like to do extra. What’s so great about this world is that it’s tremendous effectively crafted. All the reveals from Strolling Lifeless to Worry… I used to be at Comedian-Con and I heard the announcement of the Rick and Michonne sequence, which simply blows me away. I imply, Rick is again, which it’s really reenergized a franchise to an entire different stage, understanding that there’s one thing coming. So, I don’t know what they’re considering, however I’m telling you, I’m open to something. I’m simply open and I’m right here. I’m prepared, let’s say that.
This interview has been edited for readability and size.
New episodes of Tales of the Strolling Lifeless premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC, and per week early on AMC+.