NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Tyler Perry's new movie, "Boo 2," will scare you one minute and make you laugh the next. It's the fear factor mixed with characters Madea fans have grown to love.
"If you want to laugh, give me a 102 minutes," Perry said. "Just to make you laugh and lift your spirits.
I asked him if he was a scary person as a kid.
"I'm not scary, I'm a fighter! People will hurt scaring me. Don't do that. Don't jump out of nothing because you will get punched," he said sounding just like his character Madea.
He denied that he was in character.
"That's me straight up!" he said.
I sat down with Perry to learn more about the man, straight up, and some frightening aspects of being a youngster in New Orleans.
"I had to walk past the graveyard every day to go to school. We had night school and I was booking it to get down Washington Avenue!," he said
He walked past it to get to Carter G. Woodson High School. He grew up in the neighborhood.
"Baronne and Washington, right in the middle of the block. That house my mother and father bought for $16,000 and paid $116 a month for 30 years. Now it's on the market for $550,000," he said.
His childhood memories in his neighborhood are filled with memories of his father Emmittt Perry's abuse. His real name is also Emmit, but he decided to change it.
"Someone asked me about 16 years old, 'what's your name?' I said Tyler. I didn't want the name of the one who raised me. I wanted to distance myself from him as much as he could," Perry said.
He remembers nextdoor neighbors Mr. Johnson and his wife who were kind to him all the time. He remembers Mr. Butler who was blind. He walked with him every day to Woodson to sell pralines. He called them good men who encouraged him.
He worked hard to make his dreams come true, like being house man at the downtown Marriott in the 80s.
"I remember working there. I worked in housekeeping and I also worked in the restaurant downstairs and I worked in the Hilton selling ice cream.
I was also a bartender," he said.
He also worked at the Windsor Court.
He loves the Court of Two Sisters and Cafe Du Monde. Shopping on Royal Street for antiques is a passion, as well.
"Things I couldn't do as a kid, to be able to do it now is a different world," he said.
His character Madea is based on his mother and his aunt.
"How would Madea say goodbye to me?" I asked him.
"Bye nah! Go'ne!" he said.