*The same day Hollywood trade magazines picked apart his upcoming film “For Colored Girls,” director Tyler Perry appeared on “The View” Friday morning to discuss his adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s famous work.
Perry said he didn’t choose his first R-rated film as a director, the film chose him. Co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who is among the film’s ensemble cast, was the first to bring it to his attention, but he turned down involvement in the play’s production.
Later, when it was being developed as a film he was approached again, and again he rejected it, but when it came back a third time, “I had to face my fears and just jump into it,” he explained.
As co-host Joy Behar pointed out, “Most of the men in the movie are not sympathetic. There’s only the one man that’s sympathetic, the cop.” The rest of the men in the film were described as bad guys, and she asked if Perry thought that might offend men.
While Perry said he was committed to staying true to Ntozake’s words, he admitted that this was the most controversial aspect of the material. It was controversial in 1975 and was likely to be the same now. He added the sympathetic character of the cop because “as a man I just could not let people think that every black man is this terrible.”
[See clip below.]
Whoopi also talked about the difficulty of playing her disturbing character Alice, whom she referred to as “insanely sad.”
Whoopi spoke about being back on a film set after more than a decade away. She was worried about forgetting her lines, but Perry revealed that when she was done, she got a standing ovation from the crew.
[Watch clip below.]
Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” opens nationwide on Nov. 5.