“I used to sleep with a cinderblock under my head,” jokes Lawrence Tureaud as Mr. T in a new series of hilarious videos for Marriott’s Fairfield Inn & Suites in which the iconic character, decked out in his signature gold chains, rings and bracelets, spends the day helping guests.
At least we’re hoping Tureaud is joking in the “Becoming Mr. Guaran-T” campaign, which has generated more than 1.3 million views.
Naturally, Mr. T wants to call guests “suckas” or “fools” in the video, but learns how to be nicer during his first day of orientation. Well, at least 20% nicer as he goes from the “A-Team to the F-Team.”
Tureaud couldn’t have been nicer on set of the mcgarrybowen production.
“I said I won’t come on set acting like a prima donna,” he said. “Whatever you say goes. If it takes 15 takes to do it right, we’ll do it.”
What are the things Mr. T recommends people do when they visit your hometown for the first time?
I have two speeds, off and on. When I’m at work I’m on. Everybody who’s worked with me knows my intense work ethic. I just don’t stop, not even for lunch on a long day. And when I’m off, I’m really off. I don’t work at all. When I’m off, I like being at home and spending quality time with family and going to my church.
What cities does Mr. T like to visit when he’s not in Chicago?
It depends on the work. I like connecting with my fans everywhere I go. I do like watching the Travel Channel when I want to see the world!
Mr. T was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in New Orleans and worked in helping rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina. What are your thoughts on New Orleans as a city and its people?
New Orleans still has a lot of work to do. For example, the 9th ward seems to have been forgotten about. People are still homeless and struggling to make it back home. Everyone forgets about the people who are still struggling.
Does Mr. T like Chicago pizza? If so, what’s your favorite place to order it in the city?
I like deep dish pizza! It’s not like me to single out one place to get my deep dish pizza because I like most of the Chicago pizza.
Does Mr. T have a favorite travel memory?
I recall driving my mother and her friend in my Rolls Royce while I’m wearing a chauffeur uniform with the hat. Nobody recognized me. They were too focused on trying to figure out who those two little old ladies were in the back.
You’re close to your mother. What’s the best trip you’ve taken with her?
Although not a typical travel or vacation spot for most and the fact that my mother seldom traveled, my favorite trips with my mother were to church.
What are the things Mr. T can’t travel without?
My bible is always with me. I never travel without it.