TV and movie magnate Tyler Perry says he “feels so sad” for the actors and actresses who had the temerity to turn down an opportunity to star in his latest dramatic flick, A Jazzman’s Blues.
The founder of America’s largest film studio – which is reportedly the grandest such movie campus in the world – expressed disappointment that he was spurned by young and emerging talent. But Perry also expressed excitement about the film’s outcome. A Jazzman Blues will debut on Netflix on Sept. 23, 2022.
“I’m beyond excited about it,” Perry said on the People’s “Every Day” podcast about A Jazzman’s Blues, a film about two young people coming of age in the 1940s. “It’s something very, very different for me. And, so far the reception of it has been incredible.”
The 52-year-old moviemaker stored A Jazzman’s Blues on the shelves for almost 30 years. He wrote the film back in 1995 when he was broke and living in his car, but the movie has been slow simmering in his spirit ever since. Perry told the publication that he was inspired to write the film after sneaking into the theater to see his idol, legendary playwright August Wilson. The advice that the beloved Wilson was kind and patient enough to dispense to Perry helped jumpstart his remarkable career.
“I was telling him that I had all these stories that I wanted to tell, and he was very, very encouraging about me writing what I wanted to write. I went home that night and started writing A Jazzman’s Blues,” Perry said.
“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,” Perry said.
“It is their loss,” Perry quipped.
“Too bad, so sad for them,” Perry added, then quickly turning his attention to the actors Joshua Boone and Solea Pfeiffer whom he said exceeded his expectations.
“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,” he said. “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.”