Entries in Tyler Perry (15)


Tyler Perry's Birthday Gift to Oprah Winfrey Causes Her to Strain Back

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Oprah Winfrey suffered an injury on her birthday, and it's all Tyler Perry's fault.

Winfrey turned 59 on Tuesday, and to celebrate the occasion, Perry sent her a flower arrangement.

But, the filmmaker reveals on his Facebook page, "She strained her back picking it up. No joke! Feel better Oprah. Happy birthday. Sorry. :-( Next year I'm sending her one rose. :-)"

Perry started the post by writing in all caps, "I FEEL SO BAD."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Former "Facts of Life" Star Lisa Whelchel Joins Cast of Tyler Perry's Movie

Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lisa Whelchel, the former Facts of Life star and recent Survivor contestant, will return to acting with a role in a new Tyler Perry movie.

The Hollywood Reporter says Whelchel, who played Blair Warner on The Facts of Life, has joined the cast of Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.  The movie will co-star Chad Michael Murray and Larry the Cable Guy.

The report says Whelchel, 49, will play a school principal in the film, which centers on Madea helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in a small town during Christmas.

Whelchel auditioned for the movie role in December.  It was her first audition since trying out for The Facts of Life when she was 16 years old.  Whelchel also has a recurring role on Survivor host Jeff Probst's daytime talk show.

The Facts of Life aired on NBC from 1979 to 1988.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: "Alex Cross"

Summit Entertainment(NEW YORK) -- In Alex Cross, Tyler Perry plays the title character -- the creation of prolific author James Patterson -- earlier in his career as a detective and psychologist for the Detroit Police Department.  Cross is a tough genius with a penchant for instantly diagnosing a murder scene, and the murderer’s motivation.
In this story, Cross and his team, consisting of his childhood best friend Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) and Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols), come up against a sadistic sociopath who injects his victims with a drug that paralyzes them but leaves their senses intact while he slowly tortures them to death. Our killer also leaves behind detailed charcoal sketches, earning him the nickname Picasso. Matthew Fox inhabits his villainous role with the same intensity and commitment De Niro brought to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver -- just without the great script, direction and depth.
Picasso’s motivations are never really made clear, though we’re treated to a number of taunting phone conversations between Picasso and Cross.  That timeworn device, along with a laundry list of poorly-executed clichés, often makes the movie feel like a parody of a cheesy police procedural drama.  The cheese doesn’t stop there, though.  There’s Cross’s home life, where his wife Maria, played by Carmen Ejogo, is expecting their third child.  While Perry and Ejogo play up the affection, you never feel the heat between them, which makes the dialogue sound hollow and -- well, like I said earlier -- cheesy.  Cross's grandmother, played by the incomparable Cicely Tyson, dishes out tough love to her grandson and his kids, but Perry just can’t hold his own opposite Tyson.
Director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) lends a deft hand to his action sequences.  That’s what he does best and it shows: they're the most riveting moments of Alex Cross, but it would’ve been nice if those sequences provided more of an emotional payoff.  Cohen's just not an actor's director, and it seems character believability was low on his list of priorities.
As for Tyler Perry, he's an incredible entertainer and businessman, but what we learn from Alex Cross is he’s not a very good actor.  When you remember the older version of Cross was twice played on film by Morgan Freeman, having Perry succeed him is like signing Tim Tebow to quarterback a franchise that was once led by John Elway.  You have to respect Perry for taking a risk here but, unfortunately, there's no reward.
Two out of five stars.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tasha Smith Finally Enjoys Playing Angela on "For Better or Worse"

Courtesy of TBS(NEW YORK) -- Angela, the loudmouthed, quick witted, spark plug may be a fan favorite in Tyler Perry's film series, Why Did I Get Married? and its TV spin-off For Better or Worse, but the actress behind the role is finally starting to enjoy playing her.

"As an actor we don't want to judge our characters, but there were times where I would be like, ugh, Angela is pissing me off doing the things that she's doing," Tasha Smith told ABC News Radio.  "But this season I'm really liking her choices more and I'm liking how she handles herself."

Indeed, Angela was known for drinking too much, gossiping, cheating on her husband and a host of other negative qualities, but on For Better or Worse, her character is evolving.  Not only does the second season of the hit series show Angela becoming more likeable, she is also developing into a supportive wife and girlfriend.

"The way that Tyler Perry has written Angela for this season, she feels like I Love Lucy to me," Smith admitted.  "She just feels a lot more fun.  I like exploring the fun, funny side of her so everything is not just her yelling."

This season also saw the acting debut of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the late Whitney Houston's only daughter.  Smith, who also produces acting workshops around the country, gave the budding actress top scores for her performance.

"My heart is so full of so much joy when I think about how great she did," Smith said.  "Considering all that she was going through at that time, she was able to come and she pulled that character off; never acting before in her life.  Considering that man, she gets an A-plus."

If Smith were to give Brown one piece of advice it would be to "find the character within yourself."

For Better or Worse airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern time on TBS.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Ted," "Magic Mike" and More Open Friday

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

-- Ted: In the first feature film by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg plays a man who's close friends with a childhood teddy bear that's come to life.  MacFarlane voices the titular bear.  Mila Kunis also stars.  Rated R.  [Click here to read a review]

-- Magic Mike: Channing Tatum plays a stripper who takes a newcomer under his wing.  The film is inspired by Tatum's real-life experiences as a stripper.  Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew Bomer and Joe Manganiello also star in this Steven Soderbergh-directed film. Rated R.  [Click here to read a review]

-- Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection: Tyler Perry reprises his popular elderly character of Madea, who takes in a dysfunctional family in the witness protection program.  Eugene Levy, Denise Richards and Doris Roberts also star.  Rated PG-13.

-- People Like Us: Upon his father's death, a salesman discovers he has a sister he never knew.  Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde and Michelle Pfeiffer star.  Rated PG-13.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tyler Perry's Latest Woes 

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(ATLANTA, Ga.) -- Tyler Perry is no stranger to trouble.

After overcoming a traumatic childhood and months of homelessness as a struggling artist, the 42-year-old movie mogul faces new problems—racial profiling and, most recently, a four-alarm fire at his Atlanta movie studio.

"Atlanta firefighters responded immediately to a fire that damaged the backlot facade of one of the buildings at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta," Perry's spokeswoman said in a statement to "We are grateful that there were no injuries, and that 99 percent of the damage is limited to the backlot facade. Mr. Perry wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to the Atlanta fire department for its professionalism in their quick response and limiting the damage."

Officials are still investigating the cause of Tuesday’s blaze, which brought more than 100 firefighters and took an hour to extinguish, Atlanta Fire Department spokesman J.L. Bundrige told Bundrige said it's too early to know whether the fire was considered suspicious or accidental.

Perry named his backlot 34th Street, as in the movie Miracle on 34th Street. He has called his 200,000-square-foot studio, situated on 30 acres, which opened in 2008 and is home to five sound stages and a 400-seat theater, a "miracle."

Like the legendary Madea, the loud-talking, gun-toting grandmother Perry played in his successful stage shows and films, including Diary of Mad Black Woman and Madea's Family Reunion, Perry often invokes God and his faith for helping him through his greatest challenges.

"I always thought I would die before I grew up," he wrote in a 2009 uncharacteristically somber letter to fans on his website.

After watching a screening of the movie Precious, which he executive produced with Oprah Winfrey, about a 16-year-old girl who is physically and emotionally abused, the New Orleans native revealed that it was like "a large part of my childhood had just played out before my eyes."

In the letter, Perry recounted a horrific list of beatings and hardships, including the time his father whipped him with the vacuum cleaner extension cord "until the skin was coming off my back."

He also revealed that he was sexually molested by a number of adults, both male and female.

Later, in a 2010 interview with Winfrey, he recalled trying to commit suicide as an 11-year-old child and later as a 22-year-old adult trying to launch his first stage play, I Know I've Been Changed, based on his traumatic childhood.

After moving to Atlanta in 1992 and pouring his life savings into his dream play, Tyler went bust when the audience failed to show up. For months, he slept in cheap hotels and his car, and for the next six years, he tried and continually failed to get his play off the ground. Finally in 1998, Tyler's play caught on with audiences and he has never looked back.

After staging 13 plays in 13 years and introducing audiences to the unforgettable Madea, Tyler made the move to the big screen in 2005 with his first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which debuted at No. 1 nationwide. Since then, he has built an empire, directing 12 films, including the critically acclaimed For Colored Girls, successfully expanding to television with three high-rated series and employing more than 300 people at his Atlanta studio.

Despite his success, though, Perry claimed he was racially profiled in April when police stopped him for making an illegal turn after leaving his studio. When he told police he made the wrong turn because he was worried he was being followed, he said they continued to harass him until a third officer, who was black, arrived.

"He took one look at me and had that 'Oh No' look on his face," Perry wrote on his Facebook page. "He immediately took both officers to the back of my car and spoke to them in a hushed tone. After that, one of the officers stayed near his car while one came back, very apologetic."


Atlanta police are investigating the incident.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fire Damages Tyler Perry Studios

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- A fire broke out at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on Tuesday night, causing one building at the complex to partially collapse.

The cause of the four-alarm blaze -- which started before 9 p.m. and was extinguished by the Atlanta Fire Department about an hour later -- was not immediately known. No injuries were reported.

Tyler Perry checked out the damage at the complex Tuesday night, but he has yet to publicly address the fire.

The 200-thousand-square-foot complex includes five sound stages and a 400-seat theater. In March, Cee Lo Green performed there for a President Obama fundraiser.

It's unclear whether any productions will be affected by the fire.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Police Investigating Tyler Perry’s Racial Profiling Claim

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- The Atlanta Police Department said it has opened an investigation into Tyler Perry’s recent claim that he was racially profiled by two Atlanta officers during a recent traffic stop.

The police department told E! News that its office of professional standards is investigating whether the claims “can be substantiated, and whether any departmental policies or procedures were violated during the stop.”

Perry wrote on his Facebook page earlier this week that two cops pulled him over after he made an illegal turn to ensure that he was not being followed. He alleged the officers harassed him until a black officer arrived to the scene and recognized him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tyler Perry Says He Is a Recent Victim of Racial Profiling

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Tyler Perry says he was unjustly interrogated by Atlanta police recently in what he believes to be a case of racial profiling.

In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, Perry recalls making an illegal turn after leaving his studio to ensure that he was not being followed. He says he was pulled over by two cops, one of whom asked him why he thought someone might be following him.

Perry writes that before he could reply, he heard the second officer banging on a passenger window because it was tinted. The second officer allegedly asked him, “Why do you think someone is following you? What is wrong with you?”

Perry says the cops continued to harass him until a third officer, who, like the actor/director, is black, pulled over to the scene. Perry continues, "He took one look at me and had that 'Oh No' look on his face. He immediately took both officers to the back of my car and spoke to them in a hushed tone. After that, one of the officers stayed near his car while one came back, very apologetic."

Presumably, Perry is suggesting that the third officer recognized him and explained who he is to the other two cops.

Perry points to two other cases that he believes involved racial profiling, including the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. He concludes his essay in part by writing, "RACIAL PROFILING SHOULD BE A HATE CRIME INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI!!!"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Whitney Houston's Daughter Cast in Tyler Perry Sitcom?

Tibrina Hobson/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Tyler Perry delivered a stirring eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral last month, and the actor-director-producer and Houston family friend has apparently taken Bobbi Kristina, Houston's only daughter, under his wing. reports Perry has cast her in a recurring role in For Better or For Worse, the TBS show that has just been renewed for a second season.  The sitcom is a small-screen adaptation of film Why Did I Get Married? and its sequel. 

The gossip site says Bobbi Kristina will play the daughter of one of the stylists in a salon run by Tasha White's character Angela.  It will be Bobbi Kristina's first major role.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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