On camera cross-dressing actor and producer Tyler Perry is finally hanging up his Madea hat. Tyler recently announced that he would stepping down as Madea to shift more of his focus to other ventures and that he would be handing over the reigns of the Madea character to fellow actor Orlando Jones.
NAACP Award® nominee Orlando Jones will now play the role of Mabel “Madea” Simmons in the next installment of the Madea franchise entitled “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.” He replaces creator Tyler Perry, who is focusing on the partnership between his company and Oprah Winfrey’s struggling OWN network that was announced last October.
“It is with mixed emotion that I announce that I will be unable to portray Madea in the next chapter in her journey,” Perry said. “The character has been such a gift and it was my hope and intention to play this role again in the upcoming film. But due to my commitments to the exciting new venture I am launching with OWN and Discovery Communications, I must now put all my energy into our new slate of shows that will launch on the network later this year”
“Tyler and I are obviously very sad that he won’t be able to continue,” new director Bill Duke said in a statement. “Working with him on this project has been a delight and has brought us both so much joy and laughter. Right now Tyler needs to focus on the health of his new venture and the future. We love and respect him immensely and support him during this time. We are very grateful to Orlando for stepping in so quickly.”
Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate said, “While we are saddened to hear that Mr. Perry won’t be appearing in the next film, we are still eager to have A MADEA CHRISTMAS in theaters this holiday season and look forward to Orlando Jones giving a great performance.”
Are you feeling Orlando Jones as Madea?