As a director who has grossed over $1 billion at the box office, Tyler Perry is an entertainment powerhouse like no other.
Sitting down with ET Canada‘s Sangita Patel to discuss his new thriller “A Fall from Grace” alongside actress Crystal R. Fox, the 50-year-old actor, director, writer, and producer says that most of the inspiration for work comes from a “dissociative” disorder based in childhood trauma.
“As a kid, I didn’t realize this, but someone told me this. There is something called ‘dissociative writing,’ Perry explains. “I didn’t know I was even doing it but someone said to me it was born out of trauma.”
Speaking openly in the past about the tragic physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child, he says, “I had a lot of trauma as a kid, so my imagination is so insane. I can close my eyes and have 30 pages in 20 minutes. So that’s where I go when I write these stories. I see these things in my mind and it’s just flowing out of me onto the paper.”
Turning writing into healing, Perry has become one of Hollywood’s biggest moguls and this year the producer opened Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, making him the first African-American to outright own a major film production studio.
“We have shot quite a bit there. [‘The Haves and the Have Nots’] is shot there, so it’s been open for three years, but this year was the official grand opening,” Perry says. “It’s wonderful. It’s inspirational for so many people and that’s what I wanted it to be.”
Discussing working with Fox on “A Fall from Grace”, which was shot in his studio in five days and picked up by Netflix, the creator says, “[I felt like] a proud father watching her get her chance to spread her wings and also have people see her in this light. She’s done so much over the years, but never had that one big break and I hope this is the thing that opens the floodgates.”