Home / News / Tyler Perry Reflects On His Success Before Putting Madea To Rest: ”Hollywood Wanted Nothing to do With Me”

Tyler Perry Reflects On His Success Before Putting Madea To Rest: ”Hollywood Wanted Nothing to do With Me”

It wasn’t an easy road for Tyler Perry, but it was all worth it.

From humble beginnings, putting on stage plays to own his own production company. Tyler’s success was not overnight. Variety sat with the actor/director to look back at his long adventure into stardom. 

Little do many realize, Madea’s first shining moment in “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” was accidental. Tyler explained the extra time “she” spent on stage was due to a last minute change. He even wanted to apologize to the audience for it, but they ended up loving it.

“They were chanting: ‘We don’t care! We don’t care! We want Madea!’  To look at it from there to here, I really fell into it. This was meant to be.”

That didn’t make breaking into Hollywood easier, however. “Hollywood wanted nothing to do with me,” he recalled of his early years in the industry. 

It took years, and a lot of doors were slammed in his face amid his attempt to turn the “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” stage play into a film. 

“And every time they said, ‘Nope, we don’t want this,’” he said. “This is the one that got me: a white man at one of the big studios sat behind his desk and said to me, ‘Black people who go to church don’t go to movies, so this will never work.’ That was a moment for me. Because I’m seeing thousands of people all over the country come out for these shows.”

The then-aspiring-talent had to resort to raising $5.5 million on his own to put on the piece. It was clear his tenacity paid off when the movie raked in $20 million. It was then that he made a conscious effort to be able to bring more black people to the big screen. Thus, Tyler Perry Studios was born. 

You can read more about Tyler’s inspiring story on Variety. Also, gear up to say “ta-ta” to everyone’s favorite inappropriate auntie March 1st in “A Madea Family Funeral.”

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