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Terry Crews: 10 years after 'Idiocracy,' the film resonates this election year

Take Two host Alex Cohen (left) with #MakeAmericaSmartAgain co-founder Amanda Fairey (center) and actor Terry Crews (right).
Take Two host Alex Cohen (left) with #MakeAmericaSmartAgain co-founder Amanda Fairey (center) and actor Terry Crews (right).

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The film "Idiocracy" debuted 10 years ago this month. The movie starred Luke Wilson as an Army Librarian picked out for an experiment: to be sealed in a chamber for a year.

The experiment is abandoned and Wilson wakes up in the year 2505 to find a world that is radically different. Crops are dead because they’ve been fed electrolyte drinks instead of water. Americans speak a dumbed-down version of English, where every other word is an obscenity. Then there’s the president, Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, played by actor Terry Crews. He's a gun-toting, motorcycle-riding former wrestler.


Crews will appear at a special screening of "Idiocracy" at the Echo Park Tennis and Recreation Center, along with director Mike Judge and co-star Dax Shepard.

The event, produced by Eat|See|Hear (, was the brain child of artist Shepard Fairey and his wife Amanda as part of their #MakeAmericaSmartAgain campaign. It aims to increase voter education and participation in a non-partisan way.

Crews and Fairey joined host Alex Cohen to tell more about the event.

"Idiocracy" screens Saturday at 5 p.m. Click here for more information.

Interview Highlights

What it was like for Terry Crews to land the role of President Camacho

Terry Crews: "I remember when I got the role I was so happy because they were like, 'Dude you don't want to know the big names that came in here, you'd be kind of shook up.' I was like, 'Oh my God! Really?' But I got the script, and you know what it reminded me of? I grew up in the church, and I knew there were a lot of good people, but I knew a lot of crooked people who were charismatic, who were extremely charismatic. It didn't really matter what they said, it was just how they said it, and people were like, 'Yeah I like it!' And that's what I did with Camacho... The thing was, he's talking jibberish, but he says it so good! ...That is very mesmerizing. And to prove that sometimes, people don't really want the truth, they just want it syrup and smooth and sweet, and that's what I put into Camacho. He doesn't really care that much, he cares about what he's about and everything, and he knows he has the charisma to woo America, and everybody's with it... He's like a human explosion. But what that does, it just get people off the real subjects and it keeps people from actually thinking about what they're doing."

The purpose of #MakeAmericaSmartAgain, and how 'Idiocracy' fits into the movement

Amanda Fairey: "My husband Shepherd Fairey and I one day were watching TV, and 'Idiocracy' was on. I looked over at him and I said, 'Make America great again? Make America smart again? What the heck is going on?' This movie is so relevant now and we've been watching it for about 10 years... It just made us realize that there is a lot of voter apathy, and the spread of a lot of miscommunication among the American citizens.  Our concern for this lead us to create this call to action that would encourage voter education and motivate voter turn out. It's a non-partisan movement to promote education on all issues, and not align with or disparage any candidates. So, really, we just want to make American smart again, and we thought doing screenings of 'Idiocracy' would be the perfect way to get people fired up over this and to go out there and find out for themselves what everybody's talking about, what all the candidates are talking about, and make a real decision on their own without being swayed by misinformation."  

What people can take away from "Idiocracy" in 2016

Terry Crews: "The message is, you need to be involved, you need to read, you need to learn for yourself, you need to think for yourself, which is a beautiful, beautiful sentiment. But this is the deal, you try to give that message out and if you give that message, it tends to be rejected. It's kind of like, 'OK don't tell me what to do.' But comedy is always the best way to give a message. You know, when you would hear something from Chris Rock, and you go 'Oh wow I never thought of it like that!' But if someone told you just very seriously it's kind of like, 'Alright, what agenda are you trying?' This is not about agendas, this is about waking people up to thinking for themselves and being active and motivated to do something about your own future." 

To listen to the full interview, click on the blue audio player above.

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