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Despite Popular Belief, Tyler Perry Says Crossing Over Into The Mainstream Isn't A Motivation

by Courtney
June 28, 2012 6:28 PM
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Not to pile on with Tyler Perry posts here but I thought this quote from him needed to be shared.

With some of his recent film choices, the thought among many of us has been that he's trying to broaden his brand, expand his reach and crossover to reach a wider audience, and that it was all very intentional and calculated on his part.

But Tyler Perry says that's not the case. I don't think I've heard him talk about this before, but maybe because no one's ever asked him the question directly.

Here's a piece from a longer interview he did with Movieline which speaks to this:

MOVIELINE: I feel like that taps into a larger discussion of your films, even, and the idea that you’re working within a very specific niche. But looking to what you have coming up next, you’re starring in Alex Cross, an action thriller adapted from James Patterson’s novel. Did you see this as an opportunity to cross over from your established niche into a wider mainstream audience?

TYLER PERRY: No, I never do things to think about crossing over. The thing that appealed to me was that I always liked James Patterson’s books and I liked the franchise and the character itself. When it came to me out of all of the things that I’m offered — I’m offered quite a bit — that was the most intriguing. I thought, “Wow – this is a character that I like,” and I wanted to do it. That’s what that’s about.

So we can infer from his reponse that crossing over isn't a motivation, but how appealing/intriguing the character he's asked to play is - emphasis on that first sentence: "No, I never do things to think about crossing over."

What also thought was interested is that he's offered "quite a bit" as he states. I point that out as well because, first, I'm curious to know what he's been offered and turned down, and also, in past situations, the general consensus seemed to be that he "took over" existing projects; but maybe he was actually offered them, and they were intriguing enough to him, and so he jumped on those opportunities.


Read the full Movieline interview HERE.

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  • Taz | June 29, 2012 6:29 PMReply

    The Alex Cross trailer is out. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Can't tell if it will be really good.

  • RB | June 29, 2012 1:23 AMReply

    Idris Elba should have gotten Alex Cross! Too bad. But we'll see what happens when the film comes out! SMH.

  • Baptist preacher | June 29, 2012 12:37 AMReply

    Another negro cashing in on the black women demographic, with derogatory buffoonery and patronizing pontification.

    Shit, where do I sign up?

  • Orville | June 29, 2012 5:40 PM

    Your comment sounds ignorant, black people we are NOT a monolithic group. So just because YOU don't like something doesn't mean it is a negative stereotype. Tyler Perry has a huge audience.

    why wouldn't a black male actor not want to reach a black female audience? Hello, a lot of black women desire black men and they want to see black men in leading roles. I know a lot of people on this board don't like Tyler BUT despite him being gay some women are attracted to him.

    I think Perry does want to crossover his Madea Witness Protection movie is proof he wants to expand his brand. Nothing wrong with wanting to make more dough.

  • Neziah | June 29, 2012 1:03 AM


  • Gary4362 | June 28, 2012 11:27 PMReply

    Bullsh#t!! So he wanted Kim Kardashian in his next film for her remarkable acting abilities? So he's begun doing films with more and more white people in the cast because those are the stories he is compelled to tell? So Star Trek, Alex Cross and showing up to be smug at the Tonys has nothing to do with his manic quest for mainstream acceptance and respectability? Come on!!! Does he really expect us to swallow that?

  • Marie | June 29, 2012 10:20 AM

    Agreed. He has the money. It's human nature to then want the respect and the accolades. I doubt he'll get either. The talent and skill just isn't there.

  • Donella | June 28, 2012 9:35 PMReply

    TP's giving "the eyes" in this pic.

  • Dr. Boogie | June 28, 2012 8:15 PMReply

    Star Trek (2009)...casted as Admiral Barnett at Star Fleet Academy. However, considering his schedule which includes constantly in-production touring stage plays, films, and/or television shows over the last decade as a producer, director, and actor, exactly how many other projects outside of his own do you think he has time for? Realistically speaking....

  • JEftCG | June 28, 2012 7:33 PMReply

    TP reminds me "combovers", those guys who comb their hair over the bald spot: the only person you're fooling is yourself, T. On every front. So just make that money.

  • Angela | June 28, 2012 6:44 PMReply

    Can't stand this man, not only does he un-complicate and feed stereotypes of what it is to be black, now he goes ahead and diminishes a decent book because quite frank he is a terrible actor.

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