Netflix’s The Crew has introduced audiences to some fun characters, from Kevin James' funny and well-meaning Kevin Gibson to Paris Berelc’s cool and skilled Jessie De La Cruz. Among the eclectic cast of characters is also chief mechanic Chuck Stubbs, who’s played by sitcom vet Gary Anthony Williams. Throughout the course of his career, Williams has had the opportunity to play a number of different roles, but he has a particularly special, personal connection to the role of Chuck.
Over the years, Gary Anthony Williams has starred in notable TV shows like Malcolm in the Middle and Boston Legal, and he also has plenty of memorable film credits under his belt. But The Crew provided Williams with a unique opportunity to revisit an aspect of his childhood. When I spoke to him ahead of the show’s premiere, he explained that he was well aware of the world of NASCAR before joining the series:
I’m from the south, I’m from Fayetteville, Georgia. There was a raceway down in Hampton right near me, so every weekend we had to not leave home because we couldn’t get in or out because of all the race fans.
So Gary Anthony Williams did have some prior knowledge, unlike co-star Kevin James, who admitted he had to learn a thing or two when joining the project. Despite his knowledge of racing, Williams went onto tell me he wasn’t as mechanically inclined as his character, so he channelled someone dear to help him embody the role:
I was not mechanically inclined at all, but my dad was. He could fix anything. I literally saw him fix our car once by coming into the kitchen, getting the lid of the jelly jar, taking out the tin snips and making a part to go on the car, that was him. So as Sarah [Stiles] and Dan [Ahdoot] are probably tired of hearing say, I literally, for this show, I just played my dad. My dad was a funny, dry man, no nonsense and could fix anything… Yesterday, I sent my sister a picture of a billboard that we’re all on that Dan sent us from L.A., and she goes, ‘You look like Crow.’ Crow was my dad’s name. I was like, ‘Yeah, and I play him in this show.’ That’s who I am.
Gary Anthony Williams relished the opportunity to channel his father in The Crew, and you have to love that the show gave him the chance to do so. By using his dad as a model, Williams not only brings humor through Chuck’s no-nonsense attitude but a grounding element that any workplace comedy needs.