SI NOW

June 22, 2015

MR. T

The iconic actor and former wrestler recounts his fleeting NFL "career" and discusses how Muhammad Ali helped him create his brash image.

MAGGIE GRAY: I don't think a lot of people realize this about you, but you once tried out for the Green Bay Packers. What do you remember about that experience?

MR. T: Well, it wasn't much of an experience. I feel that it was in another lifetime. Last century, as a matter of fact. About 1971, '72. I didn't even get to the field. I had a couple buddies, and we left Chicago and thought we were tough. We said, "Let's just drive up there and see if we can make the team." But we didn't even really get to the gym.

MG: Before you got famous as the Mr. T we now know, you were a bouncer and a bodyguard. At one point for Muhammad Ali. What was it like to work for him?

MR. T: That was my greatest experience because he was my hero. He came to my high school [in Chicago], where I was a wrestling champion. He taught me a lot. He said, "You've got to be different, but good." A lot of people look different and wear wild things, but they're not good. Ali told me that's the main reason he got to fight [Sonny] Liston. Ali was different. He had to break out of the box and say, "Hey, I'm coming after you, fool! I want to fight you!" And basically that's sort of like how my character in Rocky III was. I wanted [Rocky] Balboa, but he didn't want to fight me. So you say to yourself, "Be aggressive. You got to be assertive."

MG: So did you go after him? Did you hit Sly Stallone?

MR. T: Yeah, we had gloves on. He took it. He's a macho guy.

For more of Mr. T's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/sinow

"He said, 'You've got to be different, but good.'"

Mr. T

WATCH SI NOW

SI.COM/SINOW

LIVE WEEKDAYS AT 1 P.M. EST

POWERED BY FORD

TUNE IN

EPISODE: JUNE 9

Duke's Quinn Cook, an NBA prospect, tells whom he would rather face one-on-one, Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving.

EPISODE: JUNE 10

Triple Crown winner Victor Espinoza explains why he donated his winnings to the City of Hope charity.

EPISODE: JUNE 11

Maggie Gray discusses whether Hope Solo got a free pass from U.S. Soccer.

EPISODE: JUNE 12

Giants catcher Buster Posey talks about his thoughts during teammate Chris Heston's no-hitter.

PHOTONBCU PHOTO BANK/NBC/GETTY IMAGES (MR. T) PHOTOGRANT HALVERSON/GETTY IMAGES (COOK) PHOTOROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES (ESPINOZA) PHOTOKEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES (SOLO) PHOTOAL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (POSEY AND HESTON) PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)