tika sumpter*Tyler Perry’s “A Madea Christmas” is the answer to all those who want to take Christ out of Christmas and is a welcomed relief to those who love to celebrate the holiday in the traditional way.

Perry, as always, gets his message across without beating his audiences over the head but with effective humor. The beautiful and talented Tika Sumpter (“Sparkle”) is one of Perry’s players in this Christmas story.

As Lacy (Sumpter) is the raison d’etre for Madea’s niece, Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford), to pull a surprise visit on Christmas eve, she inadvertently turns Eileen’s world upside down.

In an exclusive interview with Tika, she talked about “A Madea Christmas” and herself.

tyler & tika

Why do you think this film will resonate with audiences?
Well, it’s exciting because I’m just getting feedback from you guys [journalists]—all colors. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, this was so funny.’ The movie is heartwarming. There are so many different messages and I think what Tyler does best is he mixes messages with funny. And, it’s a family movie. It’s light hearted and I think right now that’s what people love. It’s Christmas time, you know, and they are getting into the spirit with the film. Yeah!

Do you think some will have a problem with her saying Mary wasn’t a virgin?

[Laughs] I think if you know Madea you know that that woman don’t know anything about that story. They don’t take her seriously. It’s fun


How does this compare to your Christmases and your family?
I mean, with my family, my my mom is like my Madea. She’s honest and funny and she doesn’t even know she’s that. She’s like, ‘Why are you laughing?’ And tell her, ‘You’re so funny.’ She just tells it like it is. At Christmas it’s my siblings running around the house, we’re cooking, talking, laughing, loud and just crazy. It’s beautiful chaos. I have two older sisters; one is pursuing a gospel career


Are you anything like your character?

I think like Lacy a lot. I want to do good and I want people to be happy and sometimes when you’re a people pleaser you spread yourself too thin. I think that’s what she did.


Have you done any charitable work?
I just started working Afripads. They’re awesome. They are basically a Canadian couple who live in Africa and they created these washable sanitary pads for girls because it was a problem with girls missing classes and getting left behind because they had no pads during their menstrual cycles. The pads in the stores are real expensive. They can’t afford them. So they opened up a shop in the community and hired the women in the villages to make these pads. I just started getting onboard with them. I just want women to be the best they can be.  So something so small that we take for granted here is something huge over there. For them education is everything. So if I can get a girl to go to school and feel comfortable and to get through, then hey.


Do you still live in Harlem?
I do. Harlem is like the new renaissance. Do you know how many people who have moved up there? There are a lot of people you would never think of is up there. It’s great. It’s reviving and a lot of stores are opening, a lot of great restaurants, and a lot of community things are happening up there. So I’m excited to be a part of that


What’s next?
I’m doing the James Brown biopic right now. I play Yvonne Fair who had a relationship with James and a child. I just came back for two days from Mississippi but I’m going back.

 This EUR exclusive interview with actress Tika Sumpter was conducted by EURweb associate Marie Moore in NYC. Contact Marie via: [email protected]