Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) is an actor, filmmaker and the owner of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, GA. He joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about new movie called “A Jazzman’s Blues” which is streaming now on Netflix. He talks about writing the original screenplay for this movie in 1995, why now was the right time to make it, the lessons he learned from Oprah Winfrey, working with David Fincher on the movie “Gone Girl”, his partnership with Netflix and much more!
You have been so kind to me throughout the years! Who has been the person who has been kind to you early in your career?
“Gosh, early on in my career I ran into a lot of people who were really kind. Oprah was one was definitely one of them. Every major celebrity that I have met of the older generation, they were just so kind and parted a lot of wisdom to me.”
What do you think is the lesson from Oprah that you still carry with you today?
“Just in how authentic she is in herself. Just how it is important to her to make everybody feel seen and feel heard and feel loved. I love what that did to me and I want to do that for other people.”
When you make a film like this, how do you decide if you are going to star in the film or just do everything behind the scenes?
“When I wrote it 27 years ago I wanted to star in it but I got too old, so I had to rethink all of the casting. I went you know what, I’m going to sit back in this director’s chair and really take my time and paint every image like a photograph and find some incredible talent. We were able to do that and I am very proud of the work.”
When you have it in your mind that you are playing Bayou, what does that actor have to do to impress you in that audition?
“You know what, I was just looking for someone who understood the period and the time, and asks the right questions. Joshua Boone asked the right questions, he challenged my thought process in some of those situations and made me think. But also understanding the picture that we needed to paint together, so it’s really great.”
I think a lot of People are surprised that you are making this movie. It’s not a movie that people will typically expect from you. Do you enjoying surprising people?
“You know, most of these 25 years or so has been about making sure that I establish myself in my career so I can do things like this. I always felt with every hit that I was still fledgling in the business. If I had one miss, something would go off, so I had to stick with what I knew worked. But now I am in a place and having a partner like Netflix where I am able to do something that I wanted to do for a very long time.”
I’m curious about Gone Girl. When you are on the set of Gone Girl, what is something that you are learning from David Fincher that you take as a director now onto the sets?
“Everything except for 100 takes for each thing. 1 or 2, if I am doing 4 or 5 takes then something is wrong. He was very much a wealth of information. He knew so much about so many different things.”
Life is all about moments. What is the one moment that has set you on the path that you are on now?
“I think it was hearing no a lot. I don’t know the one specific moment, but when I heard the word no it gave me the strength and desire to give me a yes somewhere.”
Featured image: Tyler Perry