Have a very Perry Christmas is the message Tyler Perry wants you to have as you head out this weekend to see A Madea Christmas, his latest movie starring Madea. Perry wants to be sure you know just what kind of movie it is, though.
“If you’re looking for an Oscar movie, this isn’t it,” Perry says. “It’s different its funny it’s not 12 Years a Slave you won’t run out of there crying but you will run out of there laughing.”
Here are just a few things we found out when Perry joined the TJMS crew to talk about his latest flick, his Fantastic Voyage auditions, his beef with Spike Lee and working with Larry the Cable Guy.
1. Tyler Perry is silly.
Director/actor/writer/producer and studio owner Tyler Perry has one thing in common with Madea, the character he’s played in so many hit movies. They’re both silly. Perry joined the Tom Joyner Morning show today to promote his new movie A Madea Christmas starring himself, Larry the Cable Guy, Tika Sumpter, Kathy Najimy and Anna Maria Horsford. Along the way he told jokes, he dropped into character as Madea and he made everyone laugh. We know he can be serious – he couldn’t be as successful as he is without being a great businessman, but he has an off-the-cuff humor that rivals the best comics as well.
2. Tyler and Spike Lee are cool now.
They might not go on family vacations together but Spike Lee and Tyler Perry have buried the hatchet – and not in each other’s backs. Lee has been a very vocal critic of what he calls Perry’s stereotypical characters and movies and has made it clear that he considers himself much more of a quality filmmaker. But instead of working through their differences via Twitter spat or in the media, Lee did the classy thing by reaching out to Perry.
“I got a call in my studio in Atlanta saying that Spike Lee was on the phone,” Perry told the TJMS. He left a message and I had to call and verify it was really him and I said ‘I’ll return his call in a few days.’ (Laughs.) I call him back, he gets on a plane, flies down to Atlanta, and comes to my house by himself. He comes up the stairs, I open the door and I say ‘You’re by yourself?’ and he says ‘Yes’ and I said ‘Well, come on in here so that I can hide your damn body.’ That broke the ice and we talked and so me and Spike, we’re cool, we’re cool.”
3.Don’t audition for anything that won’t be in a Tyler Perry movie For those of you looking for guidance about how to audition for a role in a Tyler Perry movie, here’s a guide: Don’t do anything that won’t likely belong on one of his TV shows or in one of his movies. So no Shakespearean monologues, no animal acts, no card tricks (well, maybe) but definitely no juggling. To the listener who asked if he could juggle during his audition, Perry asks: “Have you ever seen a juggler in a Tyler Perry film?”
4.A Madea Christmas is Tom’s favorite Christmas movie, but wait to hear what his last one is. Tom is promoting A Madea Christmas like he’s got a new side hustle as Perry’s movie publicist. He loved the movie so much that it’s now become his second favorite Christmas movie. We thought that was wonderful because we figured his first was something sentimental like It’s a Wonderful Life or This Christmas. Oh no. In fact, it’s Bad Santa with Bernie Mac and Billy Bob Thornton as a department store Santa who’s actually a safecracker. Well, actually we should have known that would be Tom’s now second favorite Christmas movie.
5. Larry the Cable Guy and Madea Are a Match Made in Hollywood Heaven. The comic actor was born to riff with Madea and although much of A Madea Christmas is scripted, Perry says the two went off book a lot. “If this movie don’t make you laugh and make you reach deep down for something you might as well end it,” says Larry. “It was a lot of fun. Tyler treats me so damn good. I get there to the dressing room and I was the only guy with a dressing room with the name tag that said White Guy.”