Tyler Perry’s view on his iconic character Madea may come as a surprise.
Madea, the no-nonsense female character Perry created and starred as in a whole series of films brought the actor/director/studio founder fame and fortune but he does look back on her with a bit of proud wariness.
Speaking with Chris Wallace on the new CNN/HBO Max show “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” Perry was uneasy when the host showed clips from Madea movies. He said he’s “always been extremely uncomfortable" in the fat suit he donned for the character.
“The audience won’t let her go,” Perry said. “Even the last time I did it, I said ‘I’m out, I’m not doing it anymore.’ And then the world goes upside down and we have a new president. So I wanted to make people laugh… But the minute people stop coming to see her, that old broad is dead. She’s dead, for sure."
The character of Madea has appeared in 11 movies since 2005. The most recent being 2022’s “A Madea Homecoming.” Counted among Madea’s millions of fans are the likes of the late Rep. John Lewis, Rosa Parks, and Maya Angelou, Perry said.
While Perry did hint at the end of Madea, he told Wallace the one way she can keep appearing. “My mother told me keep Madea around before she died,” he said. “So as long as people want to see it, (Madea) will be around.”
Perry guested on the talk show to further discus his new, personal film “A Jazzman’s Blues.” The Netflix drama intertwines a murder mystery and love story to speak on the bigger theme of racism in the Deep South in the 20th Century.
It was portraying Madea and the early roles and movies he created that brought him to this point.
“I’ve been very intentional in my positioning of myself in as far as in the industry,” he said. “I knew my audience would support me and the Madeas and ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ And all of the big broader comedies. But this I held on so long because I was waiting for the right time.”
“A Jazzman’s Blues” is now streaming on Netflix.