Tyler Perry is up and ready to roll on a sunny California day as he knocks out a battery of media chores for his latest movie, 'Madea's Big Happy Family,' at Beverly Hills' posh Four Seasons hotel.
A crack team of handlers -- consisting of image makers and secret-service-like security detail -- are at his beck and call as journalists and media personalities are ushered in and out of his interview chamber.
At first glance, he seems to be in good spirits. He should be. His money making alter-ego Mabel "Madea" Simmons is in rare form in his latest flick, a critic-proof comedy romp that will surely continue his winning streak at box office dominance.
In true form, Mr. Perry (as some young studio staffers are commanded to refer to him) is ready to throw his interviewers through a loop when out of nowhere the loud and ornery voice of Madea appears to be yelling out catch-phrases a mile a minute -- thanks to a handheld device he has that threatens to "punch the hell out of you" with the push of a button.
"I wanted to bring her with me," he joked. "So ask her anything you want."
A direct question about his "formula" seems to catch Perry a little off guard. Eleven movies released in six years and grossing nearly $500 million, combined, at the North American box office is something no other director -- black or white -- has accomplished.
"The formula?," he pondered. "I never thought much about the formula as much as I'm a workaholic. I like to work. I like to be busy. I like to keep moving and as long as I'm giving people what they want, then I'm in a good position. And i think that's what makes it work. There's a huge audience that I've built long before I ever did a movie who are waiting for the next thing, so that's pretty exciting to me."
Not long after the 41 year-old filmmaker set a jam packed press conference ablaze -- with his no-holds-barred comments about Spike Lee's criticism -- at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, he and his movie studio partner, Lionsgate,literally rolled out the red carpet for the premiere of his newest movie, 'Madea's Big Happy Family,' which arrives in theaters Friday.
"If you are expecting Shakespeare in the Park, you are in the wrong place," Perry -- who portrays the scripture-dismantling, pistol-packing title character -- announced to a near capacity audience at Hollywood's Archlight Cinemas Cinemara Dome just before screening the near two-hour flick.
'Happy Family,' which also stars Loretta Devine, Cassi Davis, Bow Wow, Isaiah Mustafa, Lauren London and David and Tamela Mann, marks Perry's 11th movie to be released in a span of six years. For that fact alone, the New Orleans native proves to be a force to be reckoned with in and aroiund Tinseltown. And while some of the old Hollywood guard continues to act like they don't want to get with the program, a nice sampling of entertainment's new regime came out to support the former homeless playwright turned movie-making maverick, and what could be his latest blockbuster.
Below are pics of who showed up to take in the sites.
Though his Oscar nominated co-host James Franco turned out to be a no-show at last night's exclusive screening of 'Scream 4,' rap superstar 50 Cent held down the fort and represented The Weinstein Company's hit slasher franchise well at New York City's Crosby Street Hotel.
For the after-party, held at Mr. H at Mondrian Soho, hip-hop royalty such as Russell Simmons and Eve mixed and mingled with the likes of Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe, rock goddess Courtney Love, hip-hop soul singer Estelle, 'Saturday Night Live's latest black scene-stealer Jay Farrow, and actresses Vanessa Ferlito and Tika Sumpter.
He's approaching 53 but Prince is showing no signs of slowing down.
And the Minneapolis native who introduced 'Controversy' to the masses in 1981 may just about set the concert industry ablaze with his unorthodox approach to touring.
Today, tickets went on sale for his latest 'Welcome 2 America Live' tour dates, billed as '21 nite stand' in L.A. and announced just yesterday – playing at the Los Angeles Forum April 14, 21st and 22nd.
Going where no artist seems to have gone before, Prince hasn't only just surprised fans with the new spate of shows, but he also declared that roughly 85% of all tickets will be available at $25, inclusive of all service fees.
Taking a very different approach with his concerts, the Grammy and Academy Award-winning musician is announcing shows a matter of days before they happen. And his loyal fan base have come out in full force and shown their support.
BlackVoices.com has exclusively learned that Derek Luke has signed on to star in Jada Pinkett Smith's critically acclaimed medical drama 'HawthoRNe,' which returns for its third season June 14 on TNT.
According to a network spokesperson, the 'Antwone Fisher Story' actor will play the role of Dr. Miles Bourdet, a hot, young surgeon who arrives at James River Hospital to become the protégé of Dr. Tom Wakefield (played Michael Vartan). Currently in the midst of a divorce, Miles will attract the attention of Camille Hawthorne -- daughter of Pinkett Smith's Christina Hawthorne.
While the overall television landscape is littered with all kinds of specialty channels, many of which seem redundant and directionless, what remains clear is that the medium is in dire need of more diversity.
Even with the much anticipated debut of Oprah's OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) at the top of the year, the lane is still fairly wide open for more niche programming.
Today, former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and a group of businessmen and entertainment industry luminaries announced the formation of Bounce TV, with the aim of presenting the nation's first-ever, free, over-the-air broadcast television network designed exclusively for African-American audiences.
Set to launch this fall, the channel will target African-Americans primarily between the ages of 25-54 with 24-hour programming that will include movies, live sporting events, documentaries, inspirational faith-based programs, off-net series and original dramas.
Bounce TV's Founding Group and leadership team include Ambassador Young, Martin Luther King III, Andrew "Bo" Young III, television executives Ryan Glover and Jonathan Katz and filmmakers Rob Hardy and Will Packer.
"Charlie, he'll get it together. Listen, he passed all the drug tests. If the drug tests say he's clean, he's clean. Maybe he's got some emotional issues, maybe, and maybe he's not a drug addict. Let's get him checked on that and see how's the outcome. He might be clean on that. He might be okay. And Charlie is just Charlie, and we all need to get some of that new drug Charlie Sheen is on... I love Charlie."
It looks like there's some sugar and spice coming to Steve Harvey's nightly TV show.
Miss Lawrence, an overnight sensation on Bravo's wildly popular 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' series, has been tapped to join the cast of 'The Steve Harvey Project,' which airs on BET's Centric nightly.
The feisty cross-dressing hairdresser, stylist and singer will host a segment titled 'Spilling the Tea With Miss Lawrence,' providing entertainment tidbits, celebrity gossip, red carpet commentary and fashion/beauty critiques.
"I'm so excited," Lawrence said about the opportunity, adding, "I've found the chemistry and talent between us to be really natural."
For a minute - a brief minute - it looked like Chris Brown was doing well on the comeback trail.
On the heels of a scorching hot 'Saturday Night Live' appearance, the platinum-selling R&B hottie is readying the release of his new album, 'F.A.M.E.,' via Jive Records on March 22, which has already yielded radio hits with 'No. B.S.' and 'Look at Me Now' (featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes).
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