Tyler Perry is an above-average director, a money-making machine and by all accounts, a pretty affable guy. One thing he is not, however, is a film scholar. He proved that this week when he casually mentioned he had no idea who the hell David Fincher was until after he accepted a role in the acclaimed director’s newest adaptation, Gone Girl.
Speaking to New York Magazine, Perry outlined some fun stories about singing along with Ben Affleck and discussed the pressures of playing a character from a book adaptation. Not surprisingly, however, those statements aren’t getting quite as much press as his casual reveal that he wasn’t at all familiar with David Fincher. Like David Fincher, David Fincher. The dude who directed Se7en, Fight Club and The Social Network.
Here’s a portion of the exact quote, courtesy of Yahoo…
"I probably would have walked away from it. If I had known who David Fincher was, and his body of work… I would have said, No."
Here’s the crazy thing about this. It’s not that someone would have no idea who David Fincher is. In fact, I bet half of the people reading this story have no idea who David Fincher is. No, the weird thing is that Tyler Perry and David Fincher are both extremely successful directors working in the exact same industry. They’re both in the top 1% of directors in the world, and it’s utterly bizarre that Tyler Perry wouldn’t be at least reasonably familiar with his work. It’s like Kevin Love saying he has no idea who Dirk Nowitzki is.
Beyond that, it’s also utterly bizarre that someone of Tyler Perry’s status, who can do pretty much whatever he wants, would take a movie role without knowing who the director is. What if it was someone terrible? What if he was putting himself into a nightmare situation? It seems like he would have wanted to cover his back, but I guess he just trusts his agent that much, which is either the most awesome or the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I can’t really decide.
Regardless, Tyler Perry will play Tanner Bolt in Gone Girl. The celebrity litigator should provide a nice opportunity for the director and sometimes actor to show his dramatic chops. He’s popped up in non-Madea efforts like Star Trek before, but hopefully, this will be the opportunity he needs to show everyone there’s some talent there. If anyone can put those pieces together, it’s David Fincher.
In the time since the movie finished shooting, Tyler Perry has had nothing but nice things to say about his fellow director. Here’s to hoping he found the time to backlog through the director’s entire catalog. It’s well worth the effort.