Tyler Perry Talks Calling the Shots and Leaving a Legacy

Tyler Perry has never played by Hollywood’s rules.

That’s what the prolific writer, director, producer, chairman and actor, known for works such as “If Loving You Is Wrong,” the “Madea” movies and more told the audience is the secret to his success at the 7th annual Produced By L.A. conference Sunday at Paramount Studios.

Perry spoke to moderator Ava DuVernay, who directed the Oscar-nominated “Selma,” about how he approaches film, emphasizing how he feels the need to stay true to his own vision.

“Will I stay true to my own voice? Will I stay true to what I feel? Will I follow my heart in my decisions of: ‘This is how this has to be done for me,'” Perry said.

When Perry’s career was first getting off the ground in the late ’90s, doing stage shows in Georgia, he quit more than 17 jobs to follow his dream.

Perry continued to call the shots when he moved to Hollywood. When his TV series “House of Payne” was being shopped around by studios, Perry refused to do just a pilot, he said at the conference. He refused to do just a season. He demanded 90 episodes, and got it.

DuVernay asked him how he makes decisions, decisions such as taking on a 400-employee staff or building his own studio.

“What’s my instinct, what’s my gut? I don’t turn away from it,” Perry said. “I don’t talk myself out of it.”

Perry also touched the legacy he hopes to leave.

“As I’m talking about building and leaving a legacy, especially being a person of color, for my son, and for my grandchildren, it’s all about leaving something that they can be proud of,” Perry said. “To let them know … that no matter what is in the air about race, there is a way to make your own work.”

DuVernay joked that Perry knows a thing or two about branding.

“Branding’s good,” Perry responded. “I think I know it too much; ‘Tyler Perry’s this, Tyler Perry’s that.'”

The Producers Guild of America produced the event.

More Film

  • Joker movie

    With 'Ad Astra,' 'Joker' Likely, Venice Set for Strong Showing by U.S., Bolstered by Streamers

    Brad Pitt space odyssey “Ad Astra,” Noah Baumbach’s untitled new project, “Joker” with Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts,” Fernando Meirelles’ “The Pope,” the new “Rambo” installment, and heist thriller “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” starring Mick Jagger as a reclusive art dealer, all look bound for the Venice Film Festival, sources tell Variety. The fest [...]

  • CGV's Massive Imax Screen Order Shows

    CGV's Massive Imax Screen Order Shows Optimism for Chinese Exhibition

    Korean cinema giant CGV has signed a deal with Imax to install a further 40 giant screens in movie theaters in China. The deal suggests that China’s multiplex building boom still has some way to run, and that at least one Korean company is still willing to invest in China, despite China’s currently boycott of [...]

  • BAFTA headquarters at 195 Piccadilly, London

    BAFTA Undertakes Major Renovation of Its London Headquarters

    BAFTA has undertaken a major renovation of its London headquarters that will double the building’s capacity and increase space devoted to the British academy’s programs to promote skills training and new talent. Work has already begun on the $31 million overhaul, which is expected to take two years. In the interim, BAFTA will relocate its [...]

  • Andhadhun

    Booming Digital Lifts Eros Indian Film Distribution Giant

    Eros International, India’s largest and most controversial film distributor, says that its digital revenues now outstrip conventional theatrical and syndication revenues. Its Eros Now streaming platform claims 18.8 million paying subscribers. The New York-listed company reported annual results that were distorted by multiple adjustments to presentation. Reported revenues in the year to end of March [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    Second Huayi Brothers Film Is Canceled as Company's Losses Mount

    Still reeling from the cancellation of the theatrical release of its blockbuster “The Eight Hundred,” production studio Huayi Brothers has been hit with another setback: Its comedy “The Last Wish” has also been quietly pulled from China’s summer lineup. Both films have fallen afoul of China’s increasingly heavy-handed censors. The unwelcome development comes as Huayi [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content