Alex Cross Movie Actor Tyler Perry. Photo by Sidney Baldwin

Alex Cross Movie Actor Tyler Perry

Alex Cross: Tyler Perry

Written by Jake Hamilton

Tyler Perry was born into poverty and raised in a household of abuse. But through strength, faith, and perseverance he was able to rise to the height of Hollywood. From months sleeping in his car, to collaborating with pastor T.D. Jakes, and even Oprah, Perry’s fan base has welcomed his dozens of plays and hit movies as part of the fabric of their lives. Now Perry is stepping into the shoes of the iconic character Alex Cross and he talks with Risen about his career and the grace of God.

Interviewed at the Four Seasons at Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California

Risen Magazine: Alex Cross understands if you’re going to be a cop, there is an inherit danger that comes with the job. In acting, what is the inherit downside that you just have to accept?
Tyler Perry: For me, the fame part of it I don’t enjoy as much. I love making the movies, I’m a very private person and I love my privacy. I like going to the store and being able to buy my milk and not end up on Twitter and the tabloids. So that for me is the downside. You know, I tried to go to my favorite restaurant to eat the other night and there were 15 paparazzi outside. I had to go home and make a sandwich because I had to think, What am I wearing? What are they going to say about me? Is my hair cut? I don’t want to think about that crap.

Risen Magazine: How do you think the mentality of revenge affects people?
Tyler Perry: For me personally, I am not a person that believes in revenge. I believe you reap what you sow. So whatever you do will come back to you eventually. If you put it out there it’s going to come back to you. And it may not come back to you from me, it may come back to you through someone else. That was one of the struggles I had with the script, but what I wanted to do in this movie was be the actor and give into whoever this character was even though some of that wasn’t necessarily Tyler Perry, I understand how it is Alex Cross. I understand the anger and the frustration, and the hurt of this guy Picasso, played brilliantly by Matthew Fox, coming after Alex.

Risen Magazine: When was the first time in your life, in this business, when you thought: “I don’t know how to handle something like this?
Tyler Perry: That’s every day. It takes a lot of prayer for me to deal with what happens in this business, how it happens and how things unfold. But I’ve learned a great deal these past six to seven years since my first movie regarding how to navigate through this thing called Hollywood. So it’s pretty interesting.

Risen Magazine: You have such a journey… do you ever look back and think, “How did I get here?
Tyler Perry: Yes always. And my thought is that this couldn’t have been anything but the grace of God because there is no way in my life, where I come from with every statistic being against me, there is no way I’m supposed to be here…but for some reason here I am.

Risen Magazine: It’s great you attribute it to the grace of God and are very open about prayer, particularly in a time when people pull back from taking about things like that in public. Is it important to you to maybe push it even a little bit further?
Tyler Perry: No. I’m not trying to push it any further than this is what I believe and this is who I am. I’m not trying to be in anybody’s face. I respect people for what they believe and I just want them to respect me for what I believe.

Interview originally published in Risen Magazine, Winter 2012

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