Tyler Perry Expands Cast in New Film

By Johnson, Kevin C | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

Tyler Perry Expands Cast in New Film


Johnson, Kevin C, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Unlikely movie mogul Tyler Perry created his own industry with flicks such as "Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion" and "Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married."

His low-budget movies consistently open at No. 1 on the strength of African-American moviegoers, but with his new movie, "Tyler Perry's the Family That Preys," he might be extending his reach.

In addition to a full lineup of black actors including Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan, Robin Givens and Rockmond Dunbar, Perry also cast white actors for the first time as part of his ensemble with Kathy Bates and Cole Hauser.

Some will say Perry no longer is staying in his lane by trying to appeal to white moviegoers. But Perry says otherwise.

"I just wrote the story as the story came to me," he says. "I didn't see white or black."

He explains that as his fame has grown; the circles he travels in have changed.

"There were times when I was always around people who looked like me, sounded like me, who are me. Now I'm invited into other areas and places, and I pay attention," says Perry, who has a role in the coming J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" movie.

Perry says he'd never add white characters just to gain fans.

"I'm always true to the stories I want to tell, and from Day One, I've never chased money. It's about how do the stories feel to you. And this so-called thing called crossover, if it's a line, then people can cross it either way. But I can't make a business move and be artistic at the same time."

The dramatic "Tyler Perry's the Family That Preys," about the intertwined lives of two families led by Bates and Woodard, is generating good buzz. …

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