Tyler & Me
Yesterday, the cover story I wrote for USA Weekend came hot off the presses. As you can see, the cover subject for this latest issue is Tyler Perry, whom I had the pleasure to spend some time with in Atlanta a few weeks ago. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the profile here — I’ll let you read the article yourself. But, I will give you some behind-the-curtain details about my visit with the man who, whatever you may think of him, has built a media empire from nothing, going from living in his car to residing in the largest home in the ATL. No small feat.
There’s nothing too juicy here (I gotta keep my job), but some interesting observations nonetheless. And, no he didn’t let me try on any of Madea’s wigs. Halleluyer! — xxAT
- Besides Oprah, Gayle and a handful of others, Tyler doesn’t have many friends. In fact, he seems a little lonely.
- He told me I was a “pleasant surprise,” since he’d assumed any reporter that USA Today/USA Weekend sent would be an old white dude.
- He’s extremely forthcoming, even about subjects that most celebs would shy away from or gloss over, like the pitfalls of fame and solitude.
- The dress code at Tyler Perry Studios appears to be pretty casual, from what I could see. Tyler wore a black Adidas tracksuit for our interview.
- His personal office is bigger than my sister’s first NYC apartment and features a wall full of awards, a table littered with photo frames, a massive white shag rug and two sitting areas. Baller.
- He hugs hard. When we took a few photos together he pulled me in tight and close, and there’s no pulling away, since he stands nearly 7 feet tall and is built like a football player.