Director and movie star Tyler Perry recently spoke about his dream of creating lasting diversity in the Hollywood film industry. The actor and producer revealed this during an interview where he discussed his new film “A Jazzman’s Blues.”
The family drama premiered at the international film festival in Toronto on September 11th and will be available on Netflix on September 23rd. It follows two forbidden lovers and their journey to discovering secrets and lies hidden for over 40 years. Apart from “A Jazzman’s Blues,” Perry has written, produced, and directed several other films and series.
They include his “Madea” film series since 2005, “The Haves and the Have Nots” from 2013 to 2021, and “Sistas” since 2019. Perry shared that his dream of more diversity drives him to create more projects centered around black people. However, he is worried about the future.
Keep reading to find out more.
Tyler Perry Wants More Diversity
Perry is mostly known by fans for appearing in his own movies as an elderly black woman named “Madea.” He is also known for featuring mostly black people in his projects and sharing Black people’s stories. During an Interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Perry revealed how proud he was of his new film.
The actor also spoke about his pride in his efforts to create opportunities for Black people in the film industry. Perry said, “I am extremely excited for what has happened. The diversity, the choices, the opportunities.”
While Perry said he wants more opportunities for people of color, the actor explained that he wants to ensure they have what it takes to be the best. He said, “I worry because there is such a push for diversity and push for hiring people of color that I have found, in situations, that there are people [who] can be pushed into seats they are not ready for.”
Tyler Perry Is Trying To Change Things
Perry also noted the need to train black actors and actresses to promote diversity. He explained that he wanted black stars to meet up with the standards of Hollywood when given a chance. When they don’t perform well enough, people call them out for the “‘awful job they’re doing.’”
The “A Madea Family Funeral” star also spoke about how he gets blamed for putting mediocre stars in the spotlight in the name of diversity. He said, “It’s my hope that in all of this push for diversity, we are also providing the time and the training to make sure that we can do a great job.”
Many fans have praised “Jazzman” on social media, particularly praising Perry for deviating from his usual habit of making himself the face of his films through Madea. However, the actor revealed that he faced some challenges while making the film.
Making ‘Jazzman’ Was Challenging
The film centers around a black Louisiana man, Bayou, who makes a living as a jazz singer. He reconnects with and falls for his childhood crush, who is now married to a white man. This makes him a target for the racist leadership in the small town.
During the interview, Perry also opened up about some difficulties he faced while making the movie. He shared that many actors turned down his request to star in the film, following the negative reviews his films have received in the past. He saw this as a sign to move from the “Madea” era and create new things, like “Jazzman.”
Tyler Perry Wants To Impress Fans
Perry spoke about how many people have grown out of his Madea era. He said, “There is a generation that has come up that grew up on the Madea movies and enjoyed them but got a little older and they think: ‘This is so low brow,’” the actor said.
Perry explained that he then decided to surprise fans with a new kind of movie. He said, “In that frustration, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, they have never seen you do anything like this.’ I don’t know if they think Madea is going to pop out from behind a tree.”
The actor also noted that he had so much hope for the new project. In response to whether he ever thought it would flop, the actor said, “Never. Not Jazzman. Not this movie because of the way I held on to it like a child.”
The filmmaker also explained how important it was for him to impress fans. He recalled listening to their suggestions through the reviews of his previous movies and putting them into Jazzman. While it isn’t yet confirmed, fans may have to say goodbye to Madea for a while.