Last weekend, Heed attended the exclusive LA screening and press conference for Tyler Perry’s very first action film, Alex Cross. The film, which has garnered quite a bit of buzz for Tyler, is the first where he is acting, yet not directing. Kind of brave of the playwright-turned-director to star in a film devoid of Madea, his sarcastic, yet loveable alter ego; a character who has assisted in making Tyler Perry a household name. We are certain, however, that she would have held her own with all the cops and their guns in the action flick!
Alex Cross, which Tyler said was “the perfect film for me to begin challenging myself as an actor”, is about a very successful police detective who will do anything to protect his wife, and two young children. The intense film begins with his character reaching a point in his career where he wants to slow down and spend more time with his family. This plan is suddenly derailed by the arrival of a handsome psychopath played by Matthew Fox (ABC’s “Lost”). As the film evolves, the two face off in a climactic psychological struggle of epic proportions, where Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and physical limits!
The legendary Morgan freeman has previously portrayed the Alex Cross character, popularized in a series of books written by James Patterson. However, the director of the reboot, Rob Cohen (Fast & Furious, XXX), stated that Tyler Perry caught his attention due to his “6’6” height and heavy frame, which is closer to the Alex Cross character described in the book series”. This fictional character was a nationwide hit and a triumph for the African American community when first introduced back in 1993, due to its positive portrayal of a black male which was a rarity at the time.
The story also depicts his relationship with his feisty, yet loving mother played by the iconic Cicely Tyson. During the press conference Cicely said she was “extremely excited and honored” when she found out she’d be filming all of her scenes with Tyler, who directed her in his film “Madea’s Family Reunion”. Perry said, “directing Cicely in my own film was already a dream that came into existence, so I was ecstatic to act with her on camera while dressed as a man and not Madea [laughs]”.
The media mogul described taking on this iconic role as very hard and life changing. “I wanted to go into this film strictly as an actor, so I surrendered to the director, Rob, and just focused on building and becoming the character. It wasn’t as hard to let someone else take creative control as I thought it would be”. He went on to say, “I had to draw the anger and fear for the character from my own negative personal experiences. It was scary to tap into those memories, yet I needed to do so”.
Tyler Perry continues to spread a positive message of chasing your dreams no matter the odds. He says, ” I have been given a platform to acheive my goals and want to help everyone I can do the same. I don’t consider myself any different or more blessed than anyone else because we all have a purpose in life”.
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE NEW ALEX CROSS FILM NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE!
IN OTHER TYLER PERRY NEWS…
Heed learned that Mr. Perry is working with Oprah’s OWN network to develop two new scripted shows. This marks the first set of acting shows to be featured on Lady O’s network. “I’ve been doing television for a while now, however the shows I’m creating for OWN are completely different and are going to take viewers by surprise because we’re starting with a drama series instead of comedy!”
Stay tuned to the OWN Network for more exclusive news on the upcoming shows!