With Alex Cross, we finally get to see Tyler Perry in the lead role of a movie that he did not write, produce or direct as he takes on the role of James Patterson’s famous heroic character. Cross was previously portrayed by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, so news that Perry was cast as the new Alex Cross had many heads spinning in Hollywood.
Those who have seen this new movie directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) can confirm that Perry is excellent in the role and that it serves as a real game changer for him as he comes off as a true badass.
Perry recently attended the Los Angeles press day for Alex Cross where he talked about how he prepared to play the character, what it was like working on a movie he didn’t direct and of whether or not he had Freeman’s blessing to play this character.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: Rob Cohen told us earlier that you were taking lessons in Krav Maga. What attracted you to this martial art?
Tyler Perry: It is the most intense, amazing workout that I have ever experienced and I kept it up after the movie as well. It was actually Rob’s idea that I start taking it for the movie and I fell in love with it, and it also helps me keep my weight down. It’s intense. I can really kick some ass now man!
We Got This Covered: With this movie you are focusing on one aspect of the production which is acting. Was it easier for you to deliver as a result, or did you find yourself thinking like a director when you were on the set?
Tyler Perry: What I know about myself is that when you know how to lead then you also know how to follow. For me it was about surrender and staying out of anything I wasn’t doing and just be the character, and it allowed me to go some places I had never gone before. By that I mean to just focus in on the character, be the character and experience all these different levels and complexities from being the doctor to the family man and going from being sensitive to being a complete animal when he’s been wronged. All those things were quite intriguing to me.
We Got This Covered: Rob said that when he envisioned you in the role of Alex Cross, he also envisioned you with no shirt on. In the past we have seen you in full makeup from head to toe as Madea, so what did you think about that and being more yourself in this role?
Tyler Perry: It has always been easier for me to have a costume or something to hide behind, but here I had nothing. It was challenging, a bit frightening but usually I’m best when I take on things that I’m a bit afraid of. If there’s a bit of fear then I will challenge myself to go as far as I can. Taking the shirt off was pretty scary.
We Got This Covered: Can you talk more about getting into the Alex Cross character and of how you approached the vengeance part of him?
Tyler Perry: I think we all have some sort of moment that has happened where we wish we could have done something differently or had a different outcome. In preparing for the role I thought a lot about those things which were rooted in past relationships or business deals that I had gone through and learned from. There were many times when I had to tap into my own experiences to get to a place where I could convincingly become the character in those moments.
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