In his eight-year big-screen career, Tyler Perry has already written and directed 10 feature films, a number that puts him on pace with filmmaking’s nebbish Cal Ripken, Woody Allen. Like Allen, Perry is fond of casting himself in key roles in his movies, most famously as the irreverent matriarch Madea in the bewilderingly popular string of comedies that bear her name. (Woody Allen comparison complete – cinephiles, you may now exhale.) In his latest film, the romantic drama Good Deeds, Perry sheds his trademark Madea costume to play an Ivy League-educated software executive whose structured routine is upended by a chance encounter with Lindsey (Thandie Newton), a headstrong single mother from the opposite side of the tracks. The role represents a major leap for Perry, who finds himself for the first time playing the part of the leading man.
I recently caught up with Perry to talk about Good Deeds, his co-star Newton, the sex scene with Gabrielle Union he felt compelled to trim, and how the sweet, soulful sounds of ‘80s soft-rock legend Richard Marx ended up on the film’s soundtrack. In our interview, Perry also spoke about the controversy surrounding his casting of reality-show lightning rod Kim Kardashian in his next film, The Marriage Counselor, and how Good Deeds prepared him to inherit Morgan Freeman’s mantle as James Patterson’s iconic detective Alex Cross in the forthcoming thriller I, Alex Cross:
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds opens this Friday, February 24, 2012.
Follow Thomas Leupp on Twitter.
Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter.