Tyler Perry (Photo credit: Cliffe Fraser / Splash News)
Tyler Perry thinks his late mother is responsible for his charitable spirit.
The 50-year-old star is set to receive a special Emmy at next month’s ceremony for his charitable efforts, and he’s credited his mother, Willie Maxine Perry, for his generosity.
Perry — whose mother died at the age of 64 in 2009 — said: “That’s the DNA of my mother. My mother was just such a kind woman.
“I’m thinking of her because I know that she would be smiling from heaven. So that’s definitely that part of my DNA.”
The director acknowledges that some people “just need a hand up” in life and that “motivation can take them a long way.”
He told “Entertainment Tonight”: “I realize that people aren’t out there struggling because they want to.
“There are people that just need a hand up and that little bit of motivation can take them a long way.
“I’ll never forget being in the grocery store, in Winn-Dixie in Atlanta, trying to pay for some food and couldn’t pay for it. I was at Kroger. I couldn’t pay for it. There was a woman behind me who gave me the money to get the food that I needed. Never knew her again.
“But that little act of kindness made me feel like I could go on, so that’s what those moments are about for me. Just making people feel like they can go on.”
Perry — who has his own charitable foundation — feels proud that his work is being recognized at the Emmys.
He said: “For the Governors to even consider me for it and to know that they were watching and paying attention, that was really, really powerful. I was blown away by it.
“When they said I’m getting that award and it’s about philanthropy and it’s about the contributions to television, I think about all the people who work for me.”