Tyler Perry, 49, Atlanta and Los Angeles
Actor, playwright, filmmaker, and humanitarian
1. Your new film, AMadea Family Funeral, will be your signature character’s final appearance. How will you say goodbye?
I will be on the final Madea tour, the farewell tour. I wanted to bring back some of the original cast that worked with me early on, and then go out on tour to say goodbye. The audiences have been so amazing to me over the years, so I wanted to give them a proper farewell.
2. You’re nothing if not successful. How have you defined success for yourself over the years?
Success means different things over time. At first, it meant making enough money to take care of my mother. Now, it’s about my legacy and about how many people I’m employing and whether I’m changing people’s lives.
3. What advice did you learn early on that has served you well throughout your career?
Only say what you can do. It’s so simple, but I’ve never forgotten that. I only claim that I will do what I am able to do. If I can’t do it, I don’t say it. And the mantra I live by is Psalm 37:3: Do good and trust God. No matter what, do good.
4. You’ve made it a priority to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. What works for you?
Knowledge. Once I got educated about nutrition, it really helped in every area of my health -- with weight loss, feeling good in the morning, and feeling younger.
5. What has helped focus your efforts?
I want to be in the best health of my life at 50. I’m on a mission to be at my proper body weight, and I’m 15 pounds away. It’s taken the last year and a half to figure out how to get there, and now I’m adding the workouts and the weightlifting to make that happen.
6. Has becoming a father made you more attentive to how you take care of yourself?
I’ve always felt like I was going to die at 88, so I want to give my son 40 good years of my life and be able to pass on the wisdom I have learned. And I want to be an excellent example of health to him.
7. What’s your workout?
I’ve been doing SoulCycle religiously since my son was born 4 years ago. I love it. I’ve also just started Rumble boxing, which is also awesome. Between the two, I burn a lot of calories.
8. Have there been any roadblocks on your way to a fitter you?
Where I grew up, in New Orleans, if you weren’t fat, people thought you weren’t happy. Understanding that that wasn’t good for health took some mental undoing. Once I did that, weight loss became easier.
9. What do you most like to do on your days off?
I like to fly remote-control planes. I keep them in my barn, and I like to go out and fly them, just me and my son. Being a father is the most important thing, and I’ve got to get the time in there.
10. You launched the Tyler Perry Foundation in 2006. What inspired you?
I’ve been a giver all my life, and I wanted to make it formal. It’s a private foundation, so I get to
fund whatever I feel, such as charity: water, which is dedicated to improving access to clean water for communities in need.
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