theGrio sits down with the cast of “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”

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Tyler Perry hopes he can do good … very good at the box office with his newest release “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” starring Academy Award Nominated Taraji P. Hensen, Adam Rodriguez, multiple Grammy Award winning singers Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight, and of course, Tyler Perry.

“I want people to leave the theaters with hope, going, ‘OK. I can make it, I’m going to be alright, I just saw a great film that uplifted me, I got hope, I can make it through the next day,’” Perry said in an interview this week.

Perry utilizes a familiar formula … pistol-packing grandma, “Madea” unexpectedly has to help someone in need. This time it’s three children who after losing their mother to drugs and now their grandmother, have nowhere to turn. When “Madea” and brother “Joe” discover the kids breaking into their home, “Madea” in her usual no-nonsense style gets to the bottom of things.

“This movie was right after you know Madea Goes To Jail so I wanted to give her some breathing room and so she’s not in it as much but when she show up you hurt yourself laughing,” Perry said.

The only problem? The children’s aunt wants nothing to do with them … she’s got problems of her own. Crippled by her own pain, Taraji plays “April,” a nightclub singer who’s trapped in a loveless relationship and remains haunted by her own past.

“I love multidimensional characters and Tyler writes the best of ‘em,” Henson said. “He’s written some of the most incredible female characters. And it’s just not happening, especially for ethnic actresses. It’s just not there. The roles just aren’t there. THANK GOD for Tyler… shoot.”

With his usual theme of redemption, Perry who also produced, directed and wrote “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” includes “Sandino,” a handyman played by Adam Rodriguez. Rodriguez delivers a touching, intimate reminder that love is for everyone, even when we don’t know how to love.”

“There’s a bunch of things I loved about the character,” Rodriguez said. “I mean I love the fact that he did have this dark past, you know, that that had him on this quest for redemption.”

Mary J. Blige delivers a fearless performance as friend and nightclub owner “Tanya,” plus sings an original song she helped write and produce for the film.

” he actual song I can do battle by myself was written for Tania but to April,” Blige said. “You know, it was Tania saying it to April like “gosh, like when will you give someone a shot when will stop being so selfish.”

Never one to back away from expressing his need to ‘bridge the gap,’ Perry turns to Gladys Knight, as “Wilma,” a church elder who helps return “Tanya” to the spiritual roots that had once been her foundation.

“Looking at going back, getting ready for my character and looking at the ladies like that that was in my life, you know. They were just the connection to the family and the church and the communities and that kind of stuff and there was service and spiritual testimonies and so that’s how I try to play her.”

“I Can Do Bad All By Myself” is a love story that delivers a heavy dose of heartache … trials that Perry audiences will understand, but ends after a long journey worth every trial and triumph.

Edited by Jessica Shim

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