Tyler Perry On New Role in Ninja Turtles Movie: ‘I Want My Son to See Me in Something Other Than Madea’

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

After enduring years of criticism for his Madea character, Tyler Perry said he wants his son to see him in other roles. Critics like director Spike Lee have taken aim at the playwright-turned-filmmaker, accusing him of poorly portraying  Black people.

Speaking with Black Enterprise in 2009, Lee said Perry’s movies about Black lives and his role as gun-toting, church-going matriarch Madea are “coonery and buffoonery” and added, “we can do better.”

Cultural critic and writer Touré called Perry’s work, “cinematic malt liquor for the masses” in a 2011 interview with CNN.

In 2013, The Huffington Post declared he had created “a ratchet film formula.”

And even though Perry told Black Tree TV that critics can “go straight to hell” at the premiere of Madea’s Big Happy Family, he still has interests in playing other characters.

The film producer stars as mad scientist Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. He describes his character as someone who “starts off as a not-so-bad guy but becomes one of the worst guys.”

“The thing I love most about this character is that he does all the work, but he’s completely ignored and under-served,” Perry tells The Sacramento Observer. “I can relate to that, growing up as an underdog, so I immediately sparked to him. The opportunity to play a mad scientist who becomes even madder was a lot of fun.”

He said when the producers approached him to participate in the film, he thought of his son with girlfriend Gelila Bekele, 1-and-a-half-year-old Aman Tyler Bekele-Perry.

“In a few years he’ll be able to see this film. So definitely, I wanted him to have another opportunity to see Dad doing something else…now, with the ‘Turtles.’ I thought that would be pretty cool.”

Perry emphasized those statements when he visited “The View” June 1 to promote the film. After seeing Whoopi Goldberg in the prequel, Perry thought it would be fun to take on the movie himself.

“I thought, ‘I want my son to see me doing something other than Madea,’ ” he told hosts of the ABC talk show. “He can’t see Gone Girl or any of those movies yet, so this will be great.”

Still, Perry is not giving up his Madea role anytime soon. After TMNT comes out June 3, his latest turn as Madea will be in Boo! A Madea Halloween. It will be out this fall.

Back to top