‘Payne’ cast reflects on top memories

Tyler Perry's 'House of Payne' 200th Episode

“House of Payne” cast members enjoy being on a family-focused show with a cast and crew that feels like a family of its own, but the opportunity to work with series creator Tyler Perry (who’s even appeared on the show as the infamous “Madea”) is a special bonus — and a challenge.

“You have to be at the top of your game when working with Tyler,” says co-star Keshia Knight Pulliam. “He expects a lot of you, but I get it because he also gives a tremendous amount of himself in everything he does.”

LaVan Davis (Curtis “Pops” Payne)

Best thing about the show: Davis says positive reactions from fans are what he most enjoys. “People tell me how they come together and watch the show as a family,” he says. “It helps them to learn about real situations in life and how to deal with them.”

Memorable moment: “Gladys Knight was on the show (in season 5 episode ‘The Talent Show’), and I’m a big fan of hers,” Davis says. He’s also excited about an upcoming episode featuring Sherman Hemsley and Marla Gibbs of “The Jeffersons.”

Favorite thing about your character: “His honesty.”

Allen Payne (C.J. Payne)

Best thing about the show: ” ‘House of Payne’ shows the bonding of family,” he says.

Fan reaction: “Viewers always share stories of how much they look forward to the show and the lessons they learn.”

Significance of first 200 episodes: The aptly named Payne says depicting the journey of C.J. and Janine (Demetria McKinney) has proved enlightening. “Participating in the evolution of my character’s marriage and how we went from married to divorced to married again has provided an opportunity for me to look at relationships differently.”

Favorite thing about your character: “He’s a good guy and a great father, and I like portraying those roles.”

Keshia Knight Pulliam (Miranda Payne)

Best thing about the show: ” ‘House of Payne’ has been a blessing.” She says the episode-per-day, four-episodes-per-week shooting schedule is rough, but “it’s pushed me and challenged me to walk on set and deliver my best performance every time.”

Fan reaction: “Our audience really lives with us. It’s crazy! ‘House of Payne’ fans really relate to the show and our characters. It’s really the viewers’ actions, excitement and support that speak volumes,” she says. “We were scheduled to end the show earlier this year, but here we are back for 42 more episodes.”

Significance of first 200 episodes: “The show has grown leaps and bounds over these 200 episodes. More than anything, it’s an inspiration that the possible is possible.”

Memorable moment: Miranda and Calvin’s wedding in season four’s two-parter, “We’ve Come This Far by Faith.”

Favorite thing about your character: “She’s spunky and strong. Miranda’s a modern-day woman who’s juggling it all: family, career, marriage. She’s not perfect and makes a lot of mistakes, but her love for her husband, Calvin, and her children is unwavering. She’s very relatable to the audience.”

The Tyler Perry effect: “I’ve learned so much from watching him and being in his presence. More than anything, I’ve learned about having a clear vision, dreaming bigger than what anyone thinks is possible or what (you think) you’re capable of, and achieving that dream.”

Larramie “Doc” Shaw (Malik Payne)

Best thing about the show: ” ‘House of Payne’ is a show for all ages,’ he says. “The show is family-friendly, and I am proud to be a part of this type of series.”

Significance of first 200 episodes: “From the start of production ’til now, the cast and crew has grown close as a family. Coming to work with people that you consider family makes work fun.”

Memorable moment: Like Pulliam, Shaw singles out season four’s two-part wedding episode “We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” saying it was particularly memorable to him because “it was full of surprises and laughs.”

Favorite thing about your character: “My character has lots of room for comedic moments.”

The Tyler Perry effect: “Mr. Perry gave me my start and has helped groom my career,” Shaw says. “I am proud to work with him.”

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