Terry Crews understands everyone has to start somewhere.

As AFROTECH™ previously told you, the actor was once a player in the NFL. In 1991, he was drafted as an 11th round draft pick by the Los Angeles Rams and would go on to play for the San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles.

He had a short stint in the league playing for just three seasons over the course of seven years and retired in 1997. However, Crews’ story was, in fact, just beginning. He had developed an interest in the entertainment industry and landed one of his earliest roles, in “Friday After Next,” working as a security guard.

Previously, Crews had been featured in “Training Day,” starring Denzel Washington, after connecting with a location manager. While on set, the film’s director, Antoine Fuqua, signaled out Crews, impressed by his physique, to play in a scene. Despite not being paid for the role, Crews said the moment would change his life and solidify his interest in acting.

“So Denzel’s doing all this, and you see I’m just standing there the whole time… It changed my life,” Crews said during an interview on the podcast, “Club Shay Shay.” “That went to the Oscars, bro. It was me and Denzel when they showed that scene on the Oscars. My mother was like, ‘You in the Oscars?’ I said, ‘Well I’m not at the Oscars, but I’m in this scene, right?’ And I was hooked… because remember man, I’m on the NFL field, and my mind is already going on. I was like, ‘This is what I always want to do.’ I said, ‘Man, now I’m in my element. Don’t mess this up.”

Crews recalls gaining some visibility from the role and would later pique the interest of Ice Cube, who contacted the location manager for Crews to audition for a role in “Friday After Next.” He would go on to be cast as Damon in the comedic movie.

Crews was paid a small amount for the role. Yet, he appears to harbor no regrets regarding his financial compensation for both of his early movie projects.

Instead, he is embracing a spirit of gratitude as “Training Day” and a tap from Ice Cube gave him his big break in the industry as an actor.

“I didn’t get nothing for ‘Training Day,’ how about that? I didn’t get $0, but it changed my life forever,” Crews said on the podcast. “You didn’t know who I was if it wasn’t for a no-paying job.”

Speaking on the film alongside Ice Cube he added, “I got my shot. I got paid, maybe, $4,000 on ‘Friday After Next.’ But that’s why I came up to Cube and said, ‘Thank you. Thank you. That was a start. Now, I make money now.'”