Tyler Perry visited with Katie Couric this week to discuss his new movie “Alex Cross,” now in theaters.
The two also touched on his recent 30-pound weight loss, the rapper Lil Wayne, his friend Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Kristina, among other topics.
Perry said Houston’s death occurred near his late mother’s birthday, making the loss even more heartbreaking.
“I’ve been dealing with my mother’s death since 2009,” Perry said during a Thursday appearance on “Katie,” which airs at 3 p.m. weekdays on Channel 2. “Feb. 12 was her birthday, and I got the call about Whitney right around that time.”
After the singer’s death at age 48 following a long battle with substance abuse, Perry arranged for her remains to be transported from Los Angeles to Newark on his private plane, and spoke at her memorial service.
It’s really tough to even talk about, even still, because she was such a wonderful, beautiful person and she was fighting so hard, you know? Fighting so hard, but had so many things pulling at her. I just want to make sure that her daughter has every chance to succeed.”
Bobbi Kristina and her family star in a new Lifetime show, launching Oct. 24. Previously she teamed up with Perry to star in some episodes of “For Better or Worse,” one of his television shows.
Here’s a video clip of Perry and Couric discussing Whitney:
Perry discussed losing weight for the role of Alex Cross, a hard-charging detective on the trail of a sadistic killer in the movie based on author James Patterson’s work.
He and Couric also discussed his charitable works and the rapper Lil Wayne. (Did you know Katie was such a fan?)
Couric noted the struggles Perry faced early on, including a high school teacher who told Perry he’d never amount to anything.
“He said, ‘You’re poor and you’re black. The system is stacked up against you,’” Perry recalled. “There was always something in me that said, “That’s not true, don’t believe that, and work as hard as you can.’”