Tyler Perry (born Emmitt Perry, Jr. on September 13, 1969) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author and songwriter, specializing in the Gospel genre. Perry is best known for both creating and performing in drag the Madea character, a giant, overreactive, and thuggishly tough elderly woman.
- My audience and the stories that I tell are African-American stories specific to a certain audience, specific to a certain group of people that I know, that I grew up, and we speak a language. Hollywood doesn't necessarily speak the language. A lot of critics don't speak that language. So, to them, it's like, 'What is this?
- On why he’s not accepted by the mainstream film industry in “Tyler Perry tells Gayle King: "I'm ignored in Hollywood" in CBS News (2019 Oct 7)
- …when I come to work here and every black person that comes to work here they go, 'Oh my God, it's heaven. Here we are. We're represented.' Where everybody's represented. LGBTQ's represented. Black, white, gay, straight, whatever. We're all represented, working hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm.
- On what he hopes for the Tyler Perry Studios in “Tyler Perry tells Gayle King: "I'm ignored in Hollywood" in CBS News (2019 Oct 7)
- (My mother) loved Madea…She told me whatever you do, don't stop playing this character. She loved Madea. My mother, even though we look alike, she was a much more beautiful version of this character for sure.
- On his mother’s love for his popular character Madea in “Tyler Perry explains why he's retiring his beloved Madea character” in CNN (2019 Mar 1)
- My father who was there in the house, he wasn't at all a role model…And my mother who was trying to protect me from him as best she could, she took me everywhere with her, which gave me a tremendous amount of sensitivity to the things women go through. ... I would spend more time at the laundromat and Lane Bryant than any young boy should. [In my writing] I'm speaking from the little boy who's at her apron, looking up at the world and seeing all that I'm seeing these women go through.
- On his mother being a role model in “Tyler Perry Transforms: From Madea To Family Man” in NPR (2012 Oct 15)
Interview: Tyler Perry, movie mogul, 21 August 2010
- Those audiences are my critics. They tell me right away! I learnt very early on how far I can go, what I can and can’t say on stage. They inspire the stories that I tell, and how I tell them. It has to be something that the core can relate to. And what I’m finding is that if you serve the core, it grows, and you find a whole new audience.
- That has never been heard of in the history of television. It takes a week to do a sitcom in Hollywood. I do a show a day in my studio, three or four shows a week. So what takes most shows eight years to do, we do in a year
- I didn’t want to be the kind of man that my father was. So I’ve tried, my entire life, to be the complete and utter opposite of that. And it has served not only the art well, but I think the audience well.
Interview with Oprah Winfrey
- Children love their mothers. Especially with a boy child and his mother, there's a bond that's unbreakable. I love my mother to this day. One of the most painful things I ever had to do was bury her, realizing that even though I was her hero, I couldn't help her with this last thing. I couldn't help her get better. All I wanted was to give her everything she wanted. Everything my father didn't give her, everything she never had.
- I have to thank Eddie Murphy, 'cause after I saw him do the Klumps [in Nutty Professor II], I said, "I'm going to try my hand at a female character." It was the brilliance of Eddie Murphy. I need to write him a check. Say thank you
- On how Madea was created
- What I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that God is with me. I know that. I know that He's always been with me. It is evident in everything I have endured—and the fact that I made it through with some sanity.