Tyler Perry graces the cover of the November 2012 issue of Essence magazine, and dishes about his career and more in the related feature. Looking dapper in a grey three-piece suit, the media mogul elaborates in detail about his coming silver screen exploits, praises black women, and takes a serious tone to discuss two late greats: Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.
But first, about Perry’s female fan base. It cannot be denied that the fervent dedication of black women, partiucularly those of a religious orientation, were key in helping Tyler Perry gain his first successes on the stage. And Perry knows it.
“When Black women are down with you and in your corner, you have an ally that will move heaven and earth,” he told the glossy publication that serves the same audience that put Perry on the map. The translation of those plays into mainstream films — plays that garnered the dramatist $50 million in revenue before he moved into filmmaking — eventually became Hollywood gold allowing Perry to write his own ticket.
Essence estimates that Perry’s film enterprise spawned from the beloved stage character Madea — a fierce-talking mother figure — is worth an impressive $1 billion. After parlaying his Madea plays into movies, the actor-producer aims to extend his entertainment brand even further by playing the complete opposite of the grandmotherly mad woman.
Yes, get ready for: Tyler Perry, Action Star. Taking over the role of Alex Cross, which was previously played by Morgan Freeman, Perry beat out Idris Elba among others for the role in the coming eponymous film.
“Rising past the haters — and the sheer desolation of losing his beloved mother — Tyler Perry has only just begun to soar,” the magazine states about the iconic producer. “Respected as a writer, director and mogul, the man behind the $1 billion-plus Madea franchise is now moving into unchartered territory: Action hero.”
Perry’s Alex Cross, in which he plays the butt-kicking lead, is certainly a departure from his female-oriented melodramas.
In addition to elaborating on his coming role, Perry shares an anecdote about the late great Whitney Houston in his interview.
“Perry tells the mag about a conversation he had with Whitney Houston on the night Michael Jackson died,” reports New York’s Daily News. “Perry, concerned that Houston was on the same path, asked the late songstress if he could come over and console her.”
Sharing a private moment between an iconic diva and a man who became famous for playing one, Perry states that Houston said: “I am a mother, I have a daughter and I want to be clear: Ain’t no man coming over in the middle of the night.”
On the heels of the announcement that Tyler Perry will be uniting with Oprah Winfrey to produce original, scripted series for her OWN network, this is shaping up to be quite an exciting week for the performer who is also a seasoned television producer.
Learn more about what’s next for Tyler Perry when the Essence issue hits newsstands on October 10. Will you be picking up a copy?
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.