Perry claims that after approaching “up-and-coming young artists,” who liked the script but declined the offer. Too bad; I’m so sorry for them.
Tyler Perry may draw criticism for the wigs he employs in his shows, but he has developed a billion-dollar brand that has helped him advance in Hollywood. He started out on the “Chitlin Circuit,” playing in more intimate South venues to promote the plays that would bring him reputation abroad. His movies have gained cult status, and the Madea brand continues to be lucrative—so much so that the character has been both retired and unretired.
Back in 1995, Perry began developing A Jazzman’s Blues, and finally, the filmmaker was able to get the project in motion.
“I’m beyond excited about it,” said Perry. “It’s something very, very different for me. And, so far the reception of it has been incredible.” However, he did mention that finding actors for the film was a bit of a struggle because he specifically sought out new talent, and while they loved the script, they decided not to move forward.
“Unfortunately with this film, I went to a bunch of up-and-coming young artists who were getting a lot of attention and I asked them about doing the role. They read the script, they loved the script, but I think there was a reservation or hesitation about working with me in particular on this film, because I guess they didn’t know how it would turn out.”
“Too bad, so sad for them,” he added. “A lot of times these teams don’t necessarily understand the power of my audience and what I bring. The people who are in [A Jazzman’s Blues] made it exactly what it was supposed to be. It’s better than I ever thought it would be, but it’s always been very important to me to break new faces. And that has opened the door for me to be able to help so many people.”
A Jazzman’s Blues will premiere on Netflix on September 23.