Terry Crews and Todd Palin recently braved military training to earn money for charity on NBC’s upcoming reality competition, “Stars Earns Stripes.”
Paired with actual armed forces or law enforcement members, Todd and Terry, along with Nick Lachey, Dean Cain and Laila Ali, got a gritty glimpse into the rigorous world of defense training.
“We did everything,” Terry—who stopped by Access Hollywood Live (along with Todd) on Friday – told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. “We jumped off helicopters, we swam [in] full gear, we shot machine guns, we blew up buildings, we were doing everything and anything, and I have to say, I have an all-new respect for the military. It’s just incredible.”
Despite his ridiculously fit physique and rough and tumble roles in action films like “Expendables,” Terry – a former NFL player – said there were many moments during the reality competition where he contemplated throwing in the towel.
“Look, I’m an actor. I only look badass!” he said with a laugh. “I want my smoothie, you know what I’m saying? Where’s my smoothie?!”
Kidding aside, the actor, 43, said he is now in awe of the members of the armed forces after spending time in their boots.
“You watch the military, you see what they do all the time, you think you know – [but] I had to experience [it],” he said. “And I’m like, I don’t know anything about this thing!”
Todd, who boasts a bit more outdoor experience having won Alaska’s Iron Dog snowmobile competition four times, told Billy and Kit there weren’t any safe words or “lifelines” while filming “Stars Earns Stripes” – just trained professionals helping them push through the sometimes terrifying training exercises.
“No lifelines – we worked with military operatives who are the best of the best, you know, Delta Force, Navy SEALs, State Troopers, and they trained us and would give us the confidence,” Todd said.
So what was the most difficult challenge for Todd?
“Jumping out of a helicopter,” he told Billy and Kit. “It’s easy to shoot a gun, but jumping out of a helicopter a hundred feet above a building or a lake – that initial step is a challenge.”
For Terry, however, no feat was more terrifying than water activities.
“For me, it’s swimming,” Terry said. “I’m literally less than five percent body fat – I can walk on the bottom of a pool — I don’t swim!”
Adding, “I have to look at the playback and wonder if I screamed. I kept asking people like, ‘Did I scream? Please tell me I didn’t scream!’ And no one would tell me! No one would give my any kind of reassurance that I didn’t scream!”
“Stars Earn Stripes” premieres on August 13 at 8/7c on NBC.
-- Erin O’Sullivan