Tyler Perry: ‘David Fincher is a film director. Okay? I’m just a storyteller…’


As I’m sure you’ve heard, Tyler Perry has a pregnant girlfriend. I KNOW. My mind was blown too. I could have sworn that Tyler had “come out” undercover several years ago, but I guess my memory is playing tricks on me. Tyler apparently announced his girlfriend’s pregnancy during his 45th birthday party in Atlanta. His girlfriend “of five years” (!!!) is Gelila Bekele and she’s apparently seven months along. That’s really, really undercover. As Tyler makes the rounds to promote his role in Gone Girl, he’s been talking about his impending fatherhood too – he told Today that we need to “pray” for him because he doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the delivery room.

As for his Gone Girl role, Tyler plays Tanner Bolt, the lawyer representing Ben Affleck’s Nick Dunne. From what I gather, most of Tyler’s scenes are with the Batfleck and they reportedly got along pretty well. GQ had this nice interview with Tyler:

GQ: So David Fincher just calls you and says…?
I got a phone call from him saying, “You know, I got this role, and I think you’d be great for it.” The first thing I said back to him was: “Are you sure?”

Fincher’s known for doing a bajillion takes. Was that your experience?
Yeah, as opposed to me—I do two takes and move on. That was really different for me. But I tell you, his eyes and brain should be donated to science. The man sees more than the average person in his vision. He’s looking for something, and until he sees it, he doesn’t move on. I respect that.

How else is his style different from yours?
Are you kidding me? David Fincher is a film director. Okay? I’m just a storyteller who picked up the camera and said, “Point it in that direction.”

In the book, Tanner is dubbed the Dickhead Defender. How dickheaded are you in the movie?
I think he was toned down quite a bit. I think it was his expertise and his slickness that was on display, rather than the dickhead stuff.

Did you base him on attorneys you know?
With lawyers, the really, really good ones are always at ease. They’re confident. I tried to play him like that. I didn’t need to go far for research—I have quite a few myself.

How many?
You can fill up a nice little classroom.

Can you list all your current projects in twenty seconds?
[laughs] No. It would take me twenty seconds to think of all of them.

Jesus, how many hours of sleep do you get?
You know what I’ve found out? I haven’t said this to anybody—I’ve had sleep apnea. Now I sleep with a CPAP machine—but I’m getting the best sleep of my life! Somehow I’ve managed to do all that I’ve done in the last fifteen years on two or three hours of sleep. Now my whole world is different.

So did you ever suggest changing the title of Gone Girl to Tyler Perry’s Gone Girl?
[laughs] No, absolutely not. I’m pretty sure that between David Fincher and the history of the book itself, that movie’s gonna be fine. It doesn’t need any help from Tyler Perry.

[From GQ]

I’ve actually heard that Tyler Perry’s performance is pretty strong in Gone Girl, and that might be why he’s happy to do press for the film. It’s interesting to think of him as an actor-for-hire and it’s strangely brilliant that David Fincher cast him in this role. I like that Tyler gives Fincher his due as well – “David Fincher is a film director. Okay? I’m just a storyteller who picked up the camera…”


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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33 Responses to “Tyler Perry: ‘David Fincher is a film director. Okay? I’m just a storyteller…’”

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  1. delorb says:

    And a bad one at that.

  2. Sayrah says:

    I haven’t read the book but I’m looking forward to this movie. That’s funny about naming it “Tyler Perry’s Gone Girl” – that would have guaranteed a big box office hit.

    • AuroraO says:

      I love Flynn’s writing style. You should check out Dark Places. Gone Girl wasn’t my favorite of her 3 books but it was enjoyable.

    • mint says:

      I read all of her books – Dark Places was my favorite.
      I watched the movie yesterday. It was okay – a little bit too long. Rosamund Pike was excellent.

      • deehunny says:

        I guess we should be happy that he knocked up a girl 17 years younger than him and not the full 20…

    • Betty says:

      I think that was hilarious. I’m at work and burst out laughing. “Tyler Perry Presents David Fincher’s Gone Girl” – I can totally see it. I think it’s cute that Tyler laughed at the question as well. Shows that he knows how ridiculous the Tyler Perry Presents ish is.

  3. Sixer says:

    I can honestly say that I’ve never, ever heard of him. I don’t think his name can have made its way across the Pond.

  4. blue marie says:

    I’m excited to see this movie but unfortunately I made a promise to see Annabelle first, I hate dolls.

  5. Kiddo says:

    One, I don’t think he needs prayers, but some sex ed talk, if he doesn’t know what happens in the delivery room. Two, As an aside, I read the headline in the voice of Counselor Mr.Mackey on South Park.

  6. Belle says:

    From what I’ve read, the movie is getting great reviews, as are the actors. I’m excited to see it!

  7. QQ says:

    So he acknowleges he is a crappy product maker?? Cause .. i Mean Tyler Perry as Madea in A Tyler Perry production in Tyler Perry Presents OOOHH CHILE are simply not anywhere near watchable movies

    • Brionne says:

      LOL… I have friends who hiss when I don’t want to watch Tyler Perry’s latest production. I will say though that the Good Deeds film and the Soap opera on Oprah Winfrey channel weren’t horrible. Note Madea is nowhere in them! I don’t even hate Madea. She is an amalgam of that brash but wise granny, aunt, church lady in everyone’s family. I just wish he’d let an actual woman play the character. Tyler Perry has lady hips though so……

      • Salama says:

        Tyler Perry movies are so, so, so terrible, yet such a guilty pleasure for me.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        What I can’t understand is how his soap opera is a MILLION times better than his movies. There are no offensive stereotypes (obviously a soap opera is going to be rife with stereotypes), it’s actually pretty ‘advanced’ compared to all of his stuff (with the two gay characters; one who is the son of two lawyers–mother is anti-gay, father isn’t)….wtf?

        I loved watching the soap opera. I prefer it to every other soap opera that’s on tv now…..

      • HH says:

        @Virgilia – IMO, his soap operas are so much better because having to create a story line that has staying power requires him to make complex, nuanced characters; a 90 minute movie does not. Tyler Perry’s movie characters are one dimensional, and I think that he does this for the sake of simplicity. Yet, he doesn’t realize the story line is far too simple. In his shows, the good characters have the chance to show a some bad behavior, and the bad characters have the chance to show their good side. It makes them interesting. In the movies, the good characters embody every good character while the bad characters tick all the boxes for an awful person. It’s just ridiculous. That’s not life. People are good and bad (even if they can’t see it).

    • MaiGirl says:

      I have SUCH mixed feeling about Toilet Paper. One the one hand, he is terrible at writing, directing, and everything related to filmmaking. On top of that, he shoehorns the Christian messages in exactly the wrong way, in order to maximize their awkwardness. On the other hand, he employs a lot of black actors and actresses who need the work (as well as an increasing number of stellar non-black actors, like Kathy Bates), and they do a good job. I have watched most of his films because I want to see Loretta Divine or Malik Yoba, not because I expect them to be anything but predictable pablum. Also, I love Madea. She reminds me of my grandmother after enjoying one of her special beverages!

  8. aims says:

    I like him

  9. FingerBinger says:

    Other than Madea Tyler Perry’s acting isn’t that great. He played Alex Cross and that was probably one of the worst movies of 2012.

  10. Merritt says:

    I can’t stand him. The way he portrays WOC is despicable.

    • QQ says:

      Or black men for that matter or light skinned dudes with lacefronts and Captain Save a Hoe complex, or sexuality (cause someone always gets The Aids for “not being a good girl/boy”)

  11. Morgan says:

    He was funny on Jimmy Fallon, too. He said Fincher and Ben Affleck would be talking about serious director-y stuff and he’d feel like he needed to take notes and learn it all. He also repeated the line about Fincher’s 50 takes per scene being more than his whole movie. I’ve never seen one of his horrible looking movies, but it’s nice that he’s realistic about their place in the world.

    • Esmom says:

      I’ve never seen one of his movies either and up until now I thought he seemed like an arrogant jerk but I like the humility he’s displaying here.

  12. Talie says:

    Everyone in the ATL says he’s out on the down… Funky Dineva is not shy about saying it.

  13. CK says:

    He ruined “For Colored Girls”. Just destroyed that adaptation. Maybe he should just stick to acting, (No, Madea isn’t acting). Props to the beard though. Talk about commitment. He got a beard and a surrogate and he didn’t even have to prop up her career. Don’t expect a ring to come along anytime soon. I expect an “amicable” split a year or two after the baby is born so he doesnt look like he ran out on her and then a full time embracing of single fatherhood.

  14. Heidi says:

    Love Tyler Perry. I am so happy to hear that he is having a baby. Wonderful 😊

  15. Str8Shooter says:

    No sir, you are neither a director OR a storyteller. You are a hack!