Writer, director, producer, actor, there isn’t much entertainment mogul Tyler Perry can’t do. Perry’s found just what his audience is looking for and he delivers. He told ABC News that his success has a lot to do with surrounding himself with good people.
“I’ve got a really good team that allows me to be able to be creative when I need to be,” Perry said in an interview on “Popcorn With Peter Travers.” “And they also allow me to focus on the business when I need to, and then to act when I need to. So my team is really good. You have to have a good team if you’re going to try to do all of this.”
That team includes Perry’s 2-year-old son, Aman Tyler, who has the special power to bring everything to a grinding halt.
“Yeah, he’s the head of the team,” joked Perry. “He says, ‘I need daddy time’ and everything else has to stop.”
Perry has just released his newest flick, “Boo 2: A Madea Halloween,” with his Madea character back at it with crazy antics just in time for a bit of spooky fun. Perry dons a dress and a wig and breaks into a southern accent to play the role, which he says came about accidentally.
“Madea, it’s a southern term, a cross between two words, mother and dear, that a lot of southerners use to describe their mother or grandmother,” Perry said. “So Madea is a slang term. I saw Eddie Murphy do ‘The Klumps’ years ago. So I said, ‘I’m going to try my hand at a female character on stage.’ I tried this character Madea. She was only supposed to be on stage for five minutes. The lead actor didn’t show up so I had to say her lines and my lines. And I’ll never forget the audience. They loved it. And that’s where it started in 1999.”
Perry, 38, told Peter Travers he thinks his fans connect with Madea because she is relatable.
“A lot of people miss their grandmother when she’s not around anymore,” Perry said. “She says what’s on her mind. And she would knock you upside the head, take you to the hospital and pray for you all at the same time,” he joked.
Despite the wild success of Madea, Perry says his son has never seen him in character.
“He’s never seen her. I’m afraid,” Perry said. “Maybe when he’s about 25, I’ll let him see her. But I’m going to try to hide him as long as I can.”
Perry said that because of his son, his priorities have shifted.
“I’ve shifted from working so hard and just trying to get things up and running,” Perry said. “After my son and turning 48 now, everything is about legacy. What do I leave for him? What is the mark that I leave on the planet? And how many people was I able to inspire and encourage?”
“Boo 2: A Madea Halloween” is in theaters nationwide.