Tyler Perry becomes 'Alex Cross': Black stars who shined playing against type

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Tyler Perry is attempting his first turn as an action hero this weekend in the new thriller Alex Cross. Whether or not he has successfully branched out from his Madea persona is up for debate, but he is far from the first black actor to make the leap out of their comfort zone.

We’ve seen noble actors like Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington excel at playing ruthless villains, while comic stars like Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy have shown a flair for drama.

Check out some of theGrio’s favorite role reversals of all time in the slideshow above.