Tyler Perry Celebrates His First R-Rated Comedy at 'Nobody's Fool' Premiere
"I was out there on the forefront of fighting for diversity before it was 'cool' to be diverse, before it was 'cool' to hire black people," the filmmaker told THR at the New York premiere on Sunday.
Even after decades in the entertainment industry, Tyler Perry is still celebrating "firsts." The latest? An R-rated comedy, Nobody's Fool, which premiered Sunday afternoon in New York City.
"I wanted to go all the way, and that's what we did," Perry told The Hollywood Reporter.
The film's lead, Tika Sumpter, has worked with Perry on several projects, but she said Nobody's Fool was different: "He let loose, he had a good time, and we were free in our characters — not that we weren't before — but we could have a little bit more fun and say more ad-libs than we would've. It's such a layered piece that he wrote. I'm so excited to be in his first R-rated comedy, and then with Tiffany [Haddish], Whoopi [Goldberg] and so many others, it's exciting."
Nobody's Fool wasn't Perry's first time working with another of the film's leading ladies, Tiffany Haddish. The two first collaborated on Perry's show on OWN, If Loving You Is Wrong, but he said on Sunday that even then, he knew Haddish belonged somewhere "bigger." Though she's been in other films since her breakout role in Girls Trip, Perry said Nobody's Fool is Haddish's true follow-up to the 2017 comedy.
Among the differences between working on If Loving You Is Wrong and Nobody's Fool, Haddish joked with THR that one of the biggest was her paycheck. "I was one of the leads in the project, that's what was different this time around," she said. "And I was getting paid more money!"
Perry is proud of Haddish's stardom and spoke of the many actors he's worked with over the years. "Right now I find myself holding the doors open for so many people. And a lot of people want to ignore this, but I was out there on the forefront of fighting for diversity before it was 'cool' to be diverse, before it was 'cool' to hire black people," he told THR. "I was hiring all these people that have names now, so I'm really, really excited about that. Whether Hollywood wants to acknowledge it or not, that is my contribution so far and I'll be able to point to that to my son and anybody else that works for me."
Goldberg, for one, acknowledged Perry's impact on the industry on Sunday, but she also pointed out that Hollywood needs more people like Perry.
"What would be nice is if someone else could actually do it as well," Goldberg said. "Lots of people could've done what he did, but no one did. Think of all the folks that ascended and got a lot of really good breaks and made a lot of dough — he's the only one who decided to create his own studio, own everything, put it together and employ 7,000 people in Atlanta."
Nobody's Fool hits theaters Friday.