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Tyler Perry has had a long career in film, TV, and theater. Throughout it all there has been one common thread: his signature character Madea. Starting with his 199 play I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Perry has often embodied Madea's body, voice, and signature lexicon. Madea first became a household name with 2005's Diary of a Mad Black Woman, kickstarting a film franchise in the process. Perry will soon say goodbye to that character, with A Madea Family Funeral marking his last onscreen appearance as Madea Simmons.
While Tyler Perry has made a long career out of playing Madea, he's also inhabited a variety of other characters throughout the Madea franchise. He plays a total of four characters in A Madea Family Funeral, and I recently asked Perry about which was his favorite in the upcoming release, where he told me:
Heathrow. Introducing a new character who gets to say things and be irreverent and fun. I think he and Joe need to go to Vegas for something, man. It would be great.
Tyler Perry may be playing Madea for the umpteenth time, but he gets to flex new muscles by introducing Heathrow to audiences. Heathrow creates more opportunities for laughs, and shows what a comedic chameleon Perry has become through the Madea movies. And its a character that is sure to make a splash once A Madea Family Funeral arrives in theaters.
Heathrow can be shown in the first trailers for A Madea Family Funeral, hinting at the potential scene stealer. Heathrow's many years in life hasn't been kind to him, and he finds himself physically handicapped throughout the film. In addition to using an electric wheelchair to get around, he also needs a throat back to help him talk to the various relatives that make up the cast. He lost his voice box due to his wild lifestyle, but that's not stopping Heathrow from being the same dog he was in his youth during A Madea Family Funeral.
You can check out my conversation with Tyler Perry about Heathrow below.
After the decades of work, it's refreshing to see Tyler Perry still so passionate about the Madea franchise. This type of passion makes his upcoming departure from playing Madea a bit sad. But considering his work in Oscar-bait projects like Gone Girl and Vice, perhaps the director/writer/actor is ready to free up his schedule.