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Among the hustle and bustle of awards season came Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name, starring the great Eddie Murphy portraying a real-life legendary filmmaker who first became a phenomenon in the ‘70s when he latched on to a bold character for his stand-up act. During promotion for the film, Eddie Murphy named Tyler Perry the Rudy Ray Moore of the current generation.
Ahead of the release of his first Netflix film, A Fall From Grace, soon reaching the streaming platform, CinemaBlend asked Tyler Perry what he thought of Eddie Murphy’s proclamation. In his words:
Seeing [Dolemite Is My Name] there were so many parallels to Rudy Ray Moore’s more life, existence and his rise into what I did. For sure, I get it… I disagree with the potbelly and unattractive but the rest of it, yeah he’s got it right.
In my recent interview with the actor, writer and filmmaker, he pretty much agreed with Eddie Murphy’s words, finding quite a few similarities to his own struggles and rise to fame. But, there were a couple things Tyler Perry didn’t appreciate about the Coming To America star’s comments having to do with his appearance. Check out Eddie Murphy’s original words to IndieWire:
Today, Rudy Ray Moore would be Tyler Perry. On the surface, [Perry] looks like he just popped up, but he was making these plays and doing Madea all around, so he had a grassroots following. That’s what Rudy did when he went, 'Hey, I got this thing, I know what’s good, I believe in it and I’m going to go and work and sell it out of my trunk and get it going.`` Your belief and your volition gets you whatever you want. He doesn’t have any of this stuff that’s supposed to make you. He’s got a pot belly, and he’s not a good-looking guy. He’s got nothing and his stuff is super crude. And he went and got his act from homeless people in the alley.
He most certainly does not have a potbelly – but other than that Eddie Murphy certainly means well and pays some of the highest compliments to Tyler Perry.
Sure, he is known for his massive movie and television empire and he’s recently amassed a 330 acre studio of his own in Atlanta. But, in the beginning it was just him and a stage. In the ‘90s, when he was just 22 years old, Perry financed his own play in Atlanta with $12,000 of his own life savings. It didn’t do well. But, he came back with $5.5 million raised money from ticket sales to make Diary of a Mad Black Woman in 2005.
Tyler Perry has since become one of the most popular names in Hollywood, namely for his Madea character (which audiences said farewell to last year), he writes all of his own television shows on his own and has found roles in Gone Girl and Vice. Perry’s latest movie, A Fall From Grace is the latest thriller from the filmmaker to have his name written all over.
Check out what else Tyler Perry told me about how Dolemite Is My Name resonated with him:
For sure! Being a Black filmmaker in America. Seeing movies being made by white people going ‘Umm, I don’t get it.’ I think my folks want to see something different and that’s what put me here in this position. I didn’t know anything about Rudy Ray Moore until I watched the movie. I thought it was brilliant. I thought Eddie did a great job. I thought the directing was amazing and I hope he wins something for it.
It’s pretty amazing how much he can relate to Rudy Ray Moore – yet Dolemite Is My Name was his first introduction to him. Last year, Tyler Perry got candid in a CBS interview, saying he’s often ignored by Hollywood for not appealing to everyone.
The movie certainly introduced millions of audiences to the ‘70s legend when it joined the platform in fall. It has been among conversation for 2019’s best entries to cinema… although it won’t be joining the Oscar race. Dolemite lost at the Golden Globes and was snubbed from the Academy Award nominations.
Tyler Perry's Fall From Grace comes to Netflix on January 17. Check out all the original movies coming to Netflix in 2020.