Tyler Perry imagines a 'Madea' world at 'Madea's Big Happy Family' premiere
Tyler Perry has returned to the big screen to star, write, direct and produce "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family" and says the world would be a "much better place" if everyone were more like Madea.
"It would be a much better place," Perry told OnTheRedCarpet.com co-host Chris Balish. "I think there would be a lot more car crashes, there would be a lot more people in jail, there would be a lot more people going through things, but everybody would be free - there'd be no stress. There'd be no stress at all - none."
"Madea's Big Happy Family" is the sixth movie where Perry, 41, portrays the mouthy matriarch and this time, Madea comes to the aid of her niece who has health problems and whose bratty kids need some discipline. Madea brings the family back together with tough love and laughter.
Perry rose to fame with his first film, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," which came out in 2005. By 2009, Perry was named the sixth highest-paid man in Hollywood by Forbes magazine and has a strong fan base that includes Oprah Winfrey, but Perry himself isn't sure what keeps the love coming.
"I have no idea [why people keep coming back], that is an ugly woman," joked Perry. "I have no idea, but I'm glad they do and I'm glad that it uplifts and encourages... I think that's why people come, because it uplifts and encourages them and it makes them laugh."
Perry transforms into the lovable Madea for his movies, but the character seems to come from within. Oprah Winfrey once defended Perry's Madea after critics and fellow director Spike Lee accused him of perpetuating racial stereotypes.
"I think [Perry] grew up being raised by strong, black women," Winfrey said in an interview, as reported by the New York Daily News. "And so much of what he does is really in celebration of that. I think that's what Madea really is: a compilation of all those strong black women that I know and maybe you do too? And so the reason it works is because people see themselves." Perry himself admits that the character "comes out of nowhere" and seems to cause her fair share of trouble.
"I'm in character before I put the costume on, she comes out of nowhere," admit Perry, before joking, "That's the police, looking for her now in that helicopter. I just feel her all the time."
The actor/director also earned 19 NAACP Image Award nominations this year for his work in "For Colored Girls" and "Why Did I Get Married Too?" and the television show "Tyler Perry's House of Payne." Perry took home an 'Outstanding Director' Image Award for "For Colored Girls."
Reporting by Chris Balish, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).