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Why Tika Sumpter Almost Turned Down Tyler Perry's Offer To Star In 'The Haves & The Have Nots'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 27, 2014 at 1:30PM

Why Tika Sumpter Almost Turned Down Tyler Perry's Offer To Star In 'The Haves & The Have Nots'
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Tyler Perry's "The Haves and the Have Nots"
Tyler Perry's "The Haves and the Have Nots"

I thought this was interesting and worth sharing... on a slow news day.

It's actually gets a tad awkward - at least, I think so.

The short story goes, apparently Tika Sumpter wasn't immediately taken by the idea of starring in Tyler Perry's OWN network series, The Haves and the Have Nots - a hit soap opera, helping raise OWN's overall ratings.

As Tyler and Tika share in the video below, Tyer called Tika and offered her a starring role The Haves and the Have Nots, and Tika's initial response was, "Let me think about it," which Tyler obviously wasn't too pleased by. Who says what is effectively a "no" to Tyler Perry, right? Every actor he offers a part to should, without hesitation, pounce on the offering. But Tika apparently wasn't to sure if she wanted to appear in a Tyler Perry series, and Tyler reveals that he actually had to ask Oprah Winfrey to give Tika a call about starring in the project, if only to encourage her to consider the part she was being offered, which Oprah did.

Tika gives her reasons why she wasn't imediately keen on starring in the series, saying that, as an actress/business woman, she has to think about every offer before she accepts. But, really, if it was Steve Spielberg, or David Fincher, or Martin Scorsese, or even Spike Lee, at the other end of the call, making the offer, and not Tyler Perry, would she have hesitated? Would "let me think about it" have been her reply to any of them in a similar scenario? That we'll obviously never know, but I can't help but think that her response would've been different.

Also, I'm now wondering if Tika Sumpter can afford to turn anything down at this stage in her career, or be ambivalent about offers she receives (let alone one from Tyler Perry, who, despite what I think of his work, is one of a very few blacks in Hollywood who can get anything done right now, and has achieved immense success in the process). And I'm surprised Tyler actually gave her multiple chances to say yes, including having Oprah call her. He must have really wanted her for the part she plays. But I'd like to think that the same offer, if made to many other actresses, wouldn't have been met with any kind of hesitation at all.

But maybe it also says something about Tika and what she believes she's worth as an actress.

Keep in mind though that Tika did also appear in Tyler Perry's film, A Madea Christmas, which was released in December. So, clearly, she's now on board his train, and likely won't hesitate if/when he offers her something else in the future. Or maybe she will.

All fodder for discussion...

So I'm asking all you actors reading this: hypothetically, if you were approached by Tyler Perry with an offer to star in one of his projects, would you say, "Well, Tyler, let me think about it," or would you leap at the opportunity to work and earn a paycheck, regardless of how you feel about Perry's work?

Watch the slightly awkward, though jovial video convo below:


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