Mr. T and Dancing with the Stars pro partner Kym Herjavec will showcase the actor’s iconic role from The A-Team in their first dance of the season, the show’s producers explained this week.
DWTS executive producers Ashley Edens and Joe Sungkur discussed the addition of Mr. T on Season 24 of the reality TV competition with the Hollywood Reporter on Friday. In revealing that DWTS had tried to cast Mr. T several times in the past, Joe Sungkur teased what Mr. T and Kym Herjavec will dance during the show’s opening night.
“He’s the person that epitomizes the heart of the show. He’s someone who’s never ballroom danced before and it’s going to be really exciting for the viewers to see him on this journey. He is going to be dancing to the [The A-Team] theme from the ’80s so that’s going to be a very special performance come Monday.”
Adding Mr. T — who played B.A. Baracus on the original TV series The A-Team— to Season 24 of DWTS exciting to Joe Sungkur. The EP admitted that Mr. T has been on the DWTS wish list since the show’s American origin.
“Mr. T is someone we have wanted for years. Ever since season one, he has been a celebrity that’s been very high up on our list. He’s someone everybody knows, he gives you a warm feeling and someone you’d love to see in this environment and how he would do in the world of ballroom dancing.”
In a wide-ranging interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Mr. T confirmed Joe Sungkur’s comments were accurate. After being approached nearly a half-dozen times to participate in the reality TV competition, Mr. T finally accepted the DWTS offer in Season 24 as his schedule aligned with the TV show’s requirements, according to the actor.
“I turned [DWTS] down like five or six times — mainly because there has to be a unique time to be ready for it. I didn’t have the time earlier, because I knew there was a lot of work involved in it. … This time the stars were aligned, and I said yes.”
Mr. T appears to be taking the training for DWTS seriously. A recent story in the Sun revealed Mr. T has lost 12 pounds during the intense training necessary to compete on DWTS. A former professional athlete himself, Mr. T told the Chicago Sun-Times that he felt like he had an advantage going into the reality TV competition.
“The main thing in this is not only the strength, but having fortitude. That’s why you’ve seen a lot of the professional athletes — like Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward or Apolo Ohno — winning Dancing with the Stars. A lot of time, other celebrities don’t know what it takes, physically, to win. Pro athletes are all about that, and understand how to prepare themselves, both to avoid injuries but also to have that strong drive to win.”
The A-Team was a hit TV show in the 1980’s, airing for five seasons from 1983 to 1987. In addition to Mr. T, the show featured George Peppard as John “Hannibal” Smith, Dirk Benedict as Templeton Peck, and Dwight Schultz as H.M. Murdock. The A-Team climbed as high as No. 4 for its second, according to Nielsen Ratings.
In 2010, a full-length feature film entitled The A-Team hit theaters. For the movie, the role Mr. T made iconic was recast with mixed martial artist and former professional wrestler Quinton “Rampage” Jackson playing B.A. Baracus.
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[Featured Image by Brad Barket/Getty Images]