Shemar Moore - TV Star
MF: Working 14-16 hour days on a TV show, how do you squeeze in workouts into your busy schedule?
SM: I've worked out my entire life. I'm not right if I don't work out. The job got me a gym on wheels, so I have a workout trailer that travels with us from set to set. I have a personal trainer that I love and adore who gets me in the kind of shape I could never get myself into. When you have a trainer, you don't have to think about nothing. When you work out by yourself, your breaks take a little bit longer, and you watch more TV than you're supposed to.
Tell us about your role as Derek Morgan on the show Criminal Minds.
This is the most authentic role I've ever had: Chasing bad guys, doing my own stunts, doing fights. There is an action hero inside of me waiting to come out. If only Matt Damon and those guys could please just sit down somewhere, and give me a chance [Laughs.] There are moments where I seem to be Action Jackson. I am the tough guy of the group. This is the most demanding physically and emotionally. It's a combination of being athletic and cerebral, it's a very cerebral show so I'm able to flex my brain.
How does fitness fit into your role?
I'm not gonna lie, I'm vain like anybody else. I do things more excessively for the sake of Derek Morgan. It's not just for me. I don't want to make him too big, like a brute or a linebacker for the Raiders. Do I ever want to be an FBI profiler looking at severed bodies and raped prostitutes in real life? Not really, not my thing. But art imitates life in the sense that my whole life up until a point has been about athletics. My mother jokes that I came out of her kicking a soccer ball.
What other sports did you play growing up?
As a kid, I played everything. Soccer was not my main sport, but I was pretty good at it. My main sport was baseball. My uncle was so good and I was in such awe of him. God blessed me with some athleticism. I got real good real quick. I made every all-star team, and eventually got a full scholarship to Santa Clara University. Coming out of high school, I was throwing 94 miles an hour. I got [courted by] Baltimore and Boston, but my mother wouldn't let me go into the draft because she didn't want me to rely on my athletic ability. She insisted that I go to college. I also played football, I was the wide receiver, the free safety, and I ran track.
What else do you do to stay in shape?
I'm really into cycling. I like to be challenged. My mother has MS. I realized there were MS organizations that put on charity rides. Now, we have a legitimate Criminal Minds cycling team. This year we had 35 riders, and we rode 100 miles to raise money for MS. What started off as just a hobby to stay in shape has now become a way to make Mama proud and help those who are suffering. Now, after all these years working out, it's not just about how good I look in the mirror. Now I can give back.