Madea is tired, yall! After 10 films and 20 years on the main stage and the silver screen it’s time for the self proclaimed “mad black woman” to take her final bow with her 11th film appearance A Madea Family Funeral. Madea first appeared in Tyler Perry’s 1999 stage play I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which was later adapted for the screen starring Taraji P. Henson albeit with different storylines. Two years later the character would make her film debut in Diary of A Mad Black Woman. Whether the character is pulling a Cher or a Daniel Day Lewis, Tyler Perry is claiming the latter. He sounds relieved to be free of the wigs, heels, and prosthetics that is applied to transform the media mogul into one of his most recognizable characters.
Madea was created with Perry’s aunt, mother, and Eddie Murphy’s performances in The Nutty Professor in mind telling the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2006; "My mother is the wisdom of Madea, but my aunt Mayola, that's her wig, that's her voice, that's her gun in the purse. Madea is the PG-rated version of Mayola."
When we spoke with Perry back in 2017 for Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, we asked if he knew when he would be done with Madea. He indicated that it would be up to the audience. When they stopped coming to see her, he would pack it up. However, only a year later it would be Perry who would be the first to pull the plug even though Boo 2 would rack in nearly $48 million worldwide. Slightly less than its predecessors, but nothing to sneeze at. In total, the Madea franchise would pull in over $450 million worldwide.
Screen Rant had the pleasure of speaking with Tyler Perry about life after Madea, and his answer to Tessa Thompson’s female director initiative as part of the film industry’s #TimesUp movement.
Screen Rant: Last time we spoke it was during the Boo 2 press junket and you mentioned this film [Madea Family Funeral] I had asked you if you had written Madea’s swan song back then, did you not want to confirm it at the time or was there a moment later on when you decided enough was enough.
Tyler Perry: This is it! No, it was [the decision] after this. I go “ok I’m gonna do this farewell tour and this is it." It’s been fun. It’s been great but this is it.
Screen Rant: Very nice! So what’s next for you, are you going to do a Masterclass? Or we do have a lot of Ninja Turtle fans who would like you to reprise your role as Baxter.
Tyler Perry: [laughs] Who knows? I’m going to really focus on, right now it’s about legacy holding the door open, and fatherhood. So that’s my next focus for the next fifty years.
Screen Rant: Are you going to calm it down a little bit, go more on the business side, or do you feel too creative that you won’t be able to take a break.
Tyler Perry: I’ll be really really creative, but I’ll be behind the scenes a lot cause this new Viacom deal is going to require a lot of time and energy for the BET deal.
Screen Rant: Can you go into that a little bit more or is it still under wraps?
Tyler Perry: No, it’s all done. The show should be on the air August or September, and I got some great ideas.
Screen Rant: Right, and then what Tessa Thompson is doing. She’s getting a bunch of studio heads, and actors to pledge working with female directors in the next 18 months. Is that something you see yourself participating in?
Tyler Perry: That’s wonderful. Absolutely. That’s great. Yeah, I got a few already on my list that I’m working with. So yeah that’s wonderful.
- A Madea Family Funeral (2019) release date: Mar 01, 2019