The popular producer, writer and director’s new romantic comedy “Meet the Browns” opens today.
Was it a conscious decision of yours to have Madea in only one scene in “Meet the Browns” or was that a studio decision? Madea showing up for that one scene is just a set up for my upcoming movie, “Madea Goes to Jail.” I’ve already written it and we start shooting it in about two months. I just wanted to tease the audience just to let them know that it was coming. It’s a little marketing thing I was doing.
What inspired the character of Madea? In 1999, I did “I Know I've Been Changed,” my first play. I’d seen Eddie Murphy do “The Klumps” and I said “OK. I had done my old man character and he was very successful. So this time I’m going to try a woman.” But the inspiration really came from my Aunt Mayola. She’s Madea. Madea is the PG version of her. I can’t say the stuff she says.
You’ve obviously found the formula for success. If you decide to go outside the genre you’re in now, do you think you’ll get resistance? Well, the naysayers are going to be the naysayers, and I'm going to let them keep naying and saying, but as far as the studio, I have a ton of support from working with Lionsgate. I don’t work in fear.
What’s your recipe for success? The biggest thing is just rise above the foolishness. You know, keep your focus and keep your head above all of the foolishness. Don’t believe the hype. I don’t care how many number ones you have at the box office, I don’t care how much they say you're great, don’t believe it. Just stay in your lane and do what you’re supposed to do.