The movie impresario revealed that he gave Tyson $1 million for a single day of work when she showed up for the filming of Why Did I Get Married? in 2007.
Perry worked with Tyson on his other films, including Diary of a Mad Black Woman 2005, Madea’s Family Reunion in 2006, and Why Did I Get Married Too? in 2010. For some reason, Perry felt compelled to richly compensate Tyson for her relatively minor contribution to this particular film.
“This woman had done so many amazing things, but she wasn’t well compensated for it,” Perry said for the cover story of AARP Magazine‘s August issue. “She made $6,000 for Sounder, you know? I wanted to make sure she knew that there were people who valued her.”
Perry, 52, said he felt on top of the world to be able to bestow some love like this on a transcendent artist. “It makes me feel great that I was in a position to give this incredible woman some security in her latter years,” he told the magazine.
After Tyson died in 2021 at the age of 97, having 90 movie credits to her name that spanned 60 years, Perry penned a heartfelt tribute to her on his Instagram page.
“My heart breaks in one beat while celebrating her life in the next. To think that she lived for 96 years and I got to be a part of the last 16 brings me great joy. She called me son. Well, today your son grieves your loss and will miss our long talks, your laughter from your belly, and your very presence,” Perry wrote.
“Always so regal, always so classy, always a lady, always a queen,” he added. “Every time we would talk I would ask, ‘How are you?’ and you would say, ‘I’m still here. He must have something he wants me to do.’ Well, I think it’s safe to say you have done all you were put here to do, and we are all better for it.”