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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Tyler Perry: Movie Mogul
by Betty Jo Tucker

Who are some of the great movie moguls? Louis B. Mayer, Darryl Zanuck, David Selznick, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas come to mind. And perhaps Tyler Perry should be considered.  Writer, director, producer and actor, Perry is also the first African-American to own a movie studio. He purchased 330 acres of land in Atlanta for his Tyler Perry’s Studios back in 2015.

According to IMDb, Perry has 60 writing credits, 58 director credits, 63 producer credits plus 46 actor credits. Perry has also won numerous awards including the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2021 Oscars®.  

“I know my audience, and they’re not people that the studios know anything about,” Perry explains.

Perry’s films and TV projects include African-American themes and characters. So it’s no wonder he decided to make films his audience would enjoy. And they love Madea, a character who appears in over half his movies. Perry portrays this comic role, an outspoken and at times hilarious woman who steals scenes like a force of nature. Perry’s latest Madea adventure (A Madea Homecoming) is the 12th movie with Madea. His first successful movie was Diary of a Mad Black Woman in 2005.

 Perry sometimes appears in non-Madea films. For example, he can be seen now as a TV co-host in the Oscar® Best Picture nominee Don’t Look Up. And he portrays a detective who is also a psychologist, in the Alex Cross movie.      

Oprah Winfrey played an important part in Perry’s desire to write. Although his first play flopped, she encouraged him to continue with his dream, and they are good friends now. Spike Lee, however, remains critical of Perry’s films and calls him a “buffoon.” There seems to be no love between these two popular moviemakers. 

Three of my favorite Tyler Perry quotes are listed below.

I have never chased money. It’s always been what I can do to motivate and inspire people.

My father who was in the house, he wasn’t at all a role model. And my mother who was trying to protect me as best she could, she took me everywhere with her, which gave me a tremendous amount of sensitivity to the things women go through.

Life is sometimes hard, and you have to laugh your way through it.

Let’s end with a poem.

So talented in many ways,

 T. Perry’s inspiration pays.

He helps new actors learn their roles

and enhance them with caring souls. 

Plus, comedy he wants to bring

so audiences leave laughing

A movie mogul, that’s for sure.

Will his work very long endure?

Well, nothing like Shakespeare, dear friends.

But who knows how this story ends?

(PHOTO: Tyler Perry on IMDb)  

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