Media mogul and actor Tyler Perry may play a cussing grandma onscreen, but in real life, he says preaching the Gospel is “in my blood.”
During a first-time appearance on ABC News’ “Popcorn With Peter Travers,” while promoting his box office hit, Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, he talked about his family’s faith heritage.
“Growing up, my grandfather was a minister, my aunt was a minister, my uncle was a minister,” explained Perry, 48.
Will he ever be one? Is there a divine call on his life to proclaim the Good News in some formal way?
Only God knows.
If he ever does step up to the preacher plate, America will know what to expect by strolling down memory lane, back to September 1, 2013 during Perry’s visit to the Potter’s House of Dallas, led by Bishop T.D. Jakes. That day, after giving a $1 million donation to Jakes’ ministry toward the construction of a youth center in Dallas, the comedic playwright got serious.
He delivered a mini sermon about ignoring haters, spoke in tongues, and then covered Jakes’ forehead with his palm and interceded passionately in front of thousands of stunned congregants.
The Internet exploded.
These days, we don’t hear much about Perry holding court in anyone’s church. But during his ABC interview, he surprised viewers in a new way: by singing.
When asked by the host for an impromptu performance of a gospel song, the man known for making audiences laugh as the wig-wearing, bad-behaving, Southern-slang-talking Madea, chose to sing an old Negro spiritual hymn, “Wade In the Water.”
As Perry tapped his leg and shook his head from side-to-side to keep the beat, he sang the lyrics with a surprisingly beautiful vocal tone—something Travers took notice of.
“Beautiful!” he complimented Perry, playfully asking, “When’s the next musical?”
According to the most successful African-American filmmaker in history, he isn’t on the lookout for the next big thing in his career, but rather, is most interested in his personal legacy.
“I’ve shifted from working so hard and just trying to get things up and running. After [having] my son and turning 48, now everything is about legacy. What do I leave for him?” he said.
Perry added, “What is the mark that I leave on the planet? And how many people was I able to inspire and encourage?”
That, for him, is the true marker of success.
Boo 2: A Madea Halloween is currently in theaters everywhere.
Check out the full interview below (Editor’s Note: The movie preview clip contains some profanity. If this is offensive to you, please do not watch):
SOURCE: EEW Magazine – Rebecca Johnson