“Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection” marks the seventh feature-film appearance from the writer/director’s most famous character. This film, however, is the first Tyler Perry created exclusively for the big screen, instead of adapting one of his plays.
When MTV News sat down with Perry to discuss the film, he touched on the mystery surrounding Madea’s popularity and how that keeps her going.
“The audience loves it, and I don’t know what the love relationship is, truly,” Perry said. “I can’t put my finger on it, other than that this kind of grandmother is missed, but they love it.”
Perry admitted that once Madea is no longer in demand, he doesn’t plan to return to the character. “As long as the audience loves it, and as long as there is a demand for her, she’ll be around,” he said. “The minute the demand goes away, that old broad is dead. I’m telling you. She’s going to retire on some island somewhere.”
After so many years as the elderly woman, Perry has no problem slipping into character. “Just like I’m sitting right here, right now, I’m ready to talk to you,” he said in a perfect Madea. “What the hell do you want?”
As a director and an actor, there were times when Perry would have to give direction as either Madea or his other makeup-heavy character, Joe. “That is what’s always strange, because just as I’m sitting here talking to you like that, I’m in full costume, talking to Eugene [Levy] like, ‘You should move over there. You should go there. You should do that,’ and I have the full Madea costume on,” he said. “Nine times out of 10, I go up to actors and I go, ‘Can you see me?’ ”
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