Tyler Perry Directed ‘A Madea Christmas’ as Female Character
After portraying his infamous Madea character more than seven times on the big screen, one would think Tyler Perry has it down pat.
During a call with On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Friday morning to promote his latest, A Madea Christmas, he explained that doing the Madea voice is “the easiest part because that’s my aunt. That is her voice all day long. She conjugates those verbs … she talks like that all the time. It’s hysterical every time I talk to her.”
But dressing up as Madea is not as easy for Tyler. “It takes about two-and-a-half hours,” he says. “And it’s tedious, man. I hate hair on my neck, so it’s a lot of nonsense … I don’t wear the pantyhose. They just come up to my knees, but they’re pulling the hair off my legs. It’s just not worth it.”
And since Tyler also directs his Madea movies, when he’s on the other side of the camera … he’s still in costume. “I have to,” he jokes. “There are moments when I’m actually standing there directing in the costume and I’m talking in my normal baritone voice with this wig and lipstick on. By now, my team gets it, but when I have a new actor, like Larry the Cable Guy, he goes, ‘What the hell is going on with this guy?’ It was pretty funny.”
Tyler also opens up about how his Madea script was more like an outline since there was so much ad-libbing. “That’s why I love working with comedians, they can just go off script … the movie is just hysterical.”
Of course, we also had to ask Tyler about the famous story that he was inspired to start writing by none other than Oprah Winfrey. “She had done a show about writing things down and journaling and how it was cathartic to write things down,” Tyler explains. “A friend of mine found it one day and he goes, ‘Man, this is a really good play.’ I didn’t use my own name. I thought, ‘If someone finds this, I don’t want them to know I’ve been through these things.’ That’s how it all started for me.”
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas is in theaters today!