How A Touch Of Jealousy Led To Tyler Perry’s Unexpected Star Trek Casting – /Film

“Tyler’s someone who I’ve admired for years,” J.J. Abrams admitted in an interview with Female. “I mean, not just in his abilities as a writer, director, and actor, but as an industry. I mean, this guy is amazing. And quite frankly, I’ve been jealous of him for a long time, because the work that he’s done has been incredible. And we have people in common. And I just used those connections to reach to him and send him an e-mail just to say, ‘Hey, it’s JJ Abrams. Would you be interested in playing a role in this movie? And he was intrigued.” 

Tyler Perry may have been intrigued, but one might say he wasn’t entirely prepared. Apparently, he didn’t know “Star Trek” at all. But Abrams said he “kind of pushed a little bit,” and after reading the script Perry took the part.

Ironically, the thing that made Abrams so jealous of Perry — his self-made career and burgeoning artistic empire — was also what made Perry’s cameo so very unusual, even for an actor who had already starred in and/or directed seven movies. “He’d never been on anybody else’s set before,” Abrams said. “He’s never acted in anybody else’s movie.” 

It’s an unusual statistic. Certainly worthy of note. Then again if you want to get pedantic, the first Madea movie, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” was directed by somebody else. Specifically, Darren Grant (“Killing Hasselhoff”). However, the issue of a film’s true authorship has been debated in the film industry since practically its inception, and since Perry not only starred in “Diary” in three separate roles as well as wrote the screenplay and co-produced, Abrams’ point is still well-taken.

“The way that he’s created his business, his industry, his studio, and done his work, TV and film, is unbelievable to me,” Abrams said. “And I just — again, I’m just a fan.”

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