Tyler Perry is a wildly popular, multi-talented American actor, writer, director, playwright and creator of the character Mabel ‘Madea’ Simmons. Madea is a no-nonsense tough talking lady (played by Perry himself) who has become a household name in the US after appearing in several stage plays, films, TV shows and an animated film. Perry has proven himself to be a major talent both behind and in-front the camera with an array of notable acting credits including Star Trek and Gone Girl to his name.
Perry’s new film Boo! A Madea Story is a hilarious take on Halloween and arguably his best yet. So to celebrate the UK release of this US smash hit we take a whistle stop tour on all things Perry and Madea…
Tyler Perry began his career on the stage with I Know I’ve Been Changed, a powerful play addressing his difficult upbringing.
Perry garnered a large, devoted following after touring the United States with several stage productions. In 2005 it was reported that his live shows were attended by an average of 35,000 people each week.
Perry’s Madea performances are renowned for being heavily ad-libbed. He often hones the plays, shows and films as they are made.
A budding filmmaker from the outset, Perry used his stage ticket sales to fund half the budget of the first Madea film; Diary of a Mad Black Woman. It went on to gross $50 million in the United States. He even used his own house as the main location for the shoot.
The name ‘Madea’ is a contraction of the words “Mother Dear”. And the character is based on his mother, aunt, sisters and also inspired by watching Eddie Murphy in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
Despite directing his plays, Perry instead opted not to direct his first Madea feature but stepped behind the camera for his second, Madea’s Family Reunion in 2006. He has since gone on to direct all subsequent Madea films.
In Madea Goes To Jail (2009) Madea drops a woman’s car with forklift truck as revenge for parking in her spot. They filmed the car being dropped in one take, which was good work as they only had one car to smash!
Amazingly, the idea and name for new film Boo! A Madea Halloween came from a fictional Madea movie of the same name in a comedy segment of the Chris Rock film Top Five. Perry eventually thought the joke was too good an idea not to steal.
Boo! A Madea Halloween made a US box office gross of $52million after just 10 days and $73m in total. The comedy beat the Tom Cruise sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Tom Hanks’ latest Robert Langdon adaptation Inferno to the top spot at the box office.
Boo! A Madea Story is available on Digital Download 30th January and on DVD 6th February 2017 from Lionsgate UK.