Fans and celebrities gathered at the SVA Theatre on Monday in New York City for the premiere of A Madea Family Reunion, a new comedic but drama-filled film directed and produced by Tyler Perry that is set to hit theaters nationwide this Friday, March 1st.
We got an exclusive, early viewing of the film at the premiere where stars strutted down the black carpet, a stark change from the classic red carpet, while fans who were lucky enough to snag a ticket were able to be a part of the festivities.
Madea, an elderly, country woman with an explicit vocabulary and perfect comedic timing, is having her last hurrah in the new film. Madea was the first of many fictional characters created and portrayed by Tyler Perry for almost 20 years ago and “A Madea Family Reunion” will be her final role in the Madea film series after appearing in various other movies, TV shows and plays.
The film is based on the usual misadventures of Madea but this time she is surrounded by family and friends as they prepare for a funeral, however; don’t be fooled by the somber theme as the movie is anything but that. The unveiling of family secrets as well as the hilarious commentary throughout the film will surely keep you entertained.
Joining her in the film is her usual partner-in-crime Aunt Bam, played by co-star Cassi Davis, as well as Jen Harper and Rome Flynn who all play relatives of Madea and are each seen struggling with their own personal battles in the film.
We caught up with Rome Flynn who plays the character of Jesse and the son of Vianne.
The Knockturnal: Could you tell us a little bit about your role?
Rome Flynn: His name is Jesse. His dad is the one who passes away so Madea comes in to do the funeral. Basically, he is the good guy of the family. He is sort of unassuming. He is getting engaged to this girl that doesn’t necessarily know yet, but he is doing it to prove a point to his family that he can hold his own and make his own decisions since he is the baby in the family. So we get to cover that and some of the scandalous stuff that is going, as always.
Jen Harper, who plays the character of Vianne, gushed about working with Tyler Perry on set of what she initially hadn’t even known was Madea’s final film.
The Knockturnal: Was [working with him] everything you expected it to be?
Jen Harper: It was that and 10x more. He is amazing to work with. I tease him and tell him that he is out of this world. He does things that people can’t even conceive of.
The Knockturnal: What was it like being in the last installment of the Madea franchise?
Jen Harper: [gasps] I didn’t know it when I was doing it! We had no idea. When I heard it I was so crushed. It’s funny because as time roamed for me, from doing the film when we actually did it and him mentioning it to people, I learned how much of a following he has across all socioeconomics, across all races. It is amazing to see the following that he has.
The fictional character has played a primary role in the development of Tyler Perry’s career and now she is throwing in the towel. No one can deny the character’s cultural impact after providing years worth of laughs for so many people on and off the big screen. Many are sad to see the foul-mouthed iconic character go, although her creator felt otherwise.
The Knockturnal: So, how does it feel? This is like the last hurrah.
Tyler Perry: It’s good, you know? I’m excited about having this be it, be the moment and move on to some other things.
The Knockturnal: Are you gonna miss playing Madea?
Tyler Perry: No, No. [laughs] Not the dress, not the wig, no. But I will miss what it does for people, for sure.