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Interview: Tyler Perry discusses his new movie “Alex Cross”

270631_176163489174845_1705304402_nTyler Perry gets a workout in his new movie “Alex Cross.” Both physically and emotionally.

The detective thriller, based on the protagonist of many of prolific author James Patterson’s novels, involves rigorous chase and fight scenes. But for Perry, who works out every day, those weren’t too taxing.

The scenes in which Detective Cross faces intense rage and personal tragedy, though, were more grueling for Perry.

“Unfortunately for me I had a reference in losing my mother. That was the quickest thing to tap into,” Perry told us during a phone interview to discuss the new movie, which also stars Rachel Nichols, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns and a perfectly cast Cicely Tyson and comes out Oct. 19. “It was still very raw at the time.”

Perry’s beloved mother, Willie Maxine Perry, died in 2009. The scenes in which his real-life grief informed his character’s on-screen anguish were enervating.

“I really was worn out. Drained,” Perry said. “It did feel like a catharsis.”

To prepare for the role Perry said he rode along with an Atlanta Police Department officer and spent time with an FBI profiler.

“I did a lot of dingy, dirty work,” he said.

One thing he did not do, though, was consult with actor Morgan Freeman, who portrayed Cross in “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls,” earlier screen adaptations of Patterson’s work.

“That’s Morgan frickin’ Freeman!” Perry said. “I didn’t want to try to do Tyler Perry doing Morgan Freeman doing Alex Cross.”

Perry, who is always juggling a slew of projects, has just announced a partnership with his good friend Oprah Winfrey. He will create some new television programming for Winfrey’s OWN channel.

“I am super excited about it,” said Perry, who’d eventually like his own network, too. “It’s a perfect fit for us to do this for a time.”

Despite his successes Perry does encounter the occasional controversy. He’s put an end for now to his live “Madea” shows after discovering scalpers were scooping up tickets and reselling them at markups.

“I don’t know how I can tour as long as that’s going on,” he said. “It’s such an offensive thing. A lot of my audience aren’t millionaires. I love to go out. I love to entertain. But if I’ve got people doing illegal things – that means I’m working for the scalper rather than working for the audience.”

And then there was the near riot by some fans over the casting of Kim Kardashian in “The Marriage Counselor.

“That was a teachable moment,” he said. “I learned about passion.”

He describes her role as pretty minor, and predicts fans will wonder what all the fuss was about when the movie comes out.

“It was work for me,” he said of casting Kardashian. “It’s not about having fun.”

Perry’s movies “Good Deeds” and “Madea’s Witness Protection” were released earlier this year and he’s got more projects lined up including the new shows for Winfrey’s channel. How does he stay so energized?

“Part of it is living in Atlanta,” he said. “I love the people in Atlanta. They tell you the truth. There is no bull. I love having a place where my dogs can run free and just live. I’m not in the Hollywood drain. There are more trees than television shows. It allows me to detox.”

Watch the movie trailer for “Alex Cross” below.

9 comments Add your comment

Dora Douse

October 8th, 2012
3:27 pm

Even though you have put an end to the famous Madea Mr.Perry Tyler,God has already opened a new opportunities for you through Miss Winnfrey,and there are many more on the way,l believe,just keep on trusting God your miracle is on the way. Yes l know what you are going through about the loss of your mom.l loss both of my parents too the latest one was my mom which occurred on 2007,so l know exactly what it is like to loose somebody you love.But all the same God is still our everything.Take courage God’s on your side have a blesseful day Tyler.


October 8th, 2012
4:27 pm

Enter your comments here


October 8th, 2012
4:56 pm

I think this will be a sequin of many opportunity, Alex Cross and many more to come. I hope madea returns to the screen oneday but only when you see fit. There is always someone that want to steal others joy,happiness,etc. Remeber with god all things are possible Tyler. keep the faith always and god bless Tyler.

Looking forward to it

October 8th, 2012
6:06 pm

I can’t wait. I’m sure to be there opening day. I love James Patterson’s work. I think Tyler will do this role justice.

Pink Panther

October 9th, 2012
6:59 am

Maybe after this role he will finally come out of the closet


October 9th, 2012
2:53 pm

Alex Cross is great character, and Mr. Freeman did him justice…and so will you–in your own way. Continued success Mr. Perry.


October 9th, 2012
11:24 pm

To Pink Panther what different does it make if he come out the closet or not. That has no bearing on his success. Go sit in the closet on a piece of ice and chill.


October 11th, 2012
9:36 am

I love what Tyler Perry Represents. I would love for him to direct an Action Thriller or Mostly a Sci – Fi movie. I know he likes Sci Fi and I think he would do something very believable and great in these genres as well…

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October 12th, 2012
12:09 am

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