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No quiet believer

"No quiet believer" Continued...

Issue: "Shattered dreams," April 5, 2008

After the hisses and boos directed at the television execs died down, Perry assured his fans he wasn't even tempted to accept: "I was like, you gotta be kiddin' me. If you don't want my God here, you don't want me here, either. God has been too good to me to go and try to sell out to get some money. That's OK. I will sit in a corner and be broke with the Lord before I will sit there and have them give me millions and sell my soul. It ain't gonna happen."

The extended punchline is that Perry did get to produce a sitcom on his terms. House of Payne, which airs on TBS, is breaking records as the highest-rated sitcom to debut on cable.

Perry's successes on both the big and small screens, not to mention a best-selling book in the voice of his most popular character, politically incorrect granny Madea, ensure that Hollywood is finally ready to pay attention to him. On the eve of his fifth motion-picture release, Meet the Browns, insiders reveal that fans can expect to see him in more mainstream productions-like J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek prequel-and that he is now getting the calls from studio heads that eluded him for so long.

With Perry earning hard-won respect from Hollywood, the question is not-given the ongoing clarity of the Christian messages in his films and his loyalty to his fans-whether the industry is going to move him. The question is whether he will be able move the industry. Some of his colleagues, like Michael Paseornek, president of film production at Lionsgate, hope that he will: "Tyler has changed Hollywood in that the studio is recognizing the value in a market they never saw before."

Megan Basham
Megan Basham

Megan, a regular correspondent for WORLD News Group, is a writer and film critic living in Memphis, Tenn.. She is the author of Beside Every Successful Man: A Woman's Guide to Having It All.

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