Perry says he approached “up-and-coming young artists” and although they liked the script, they turned down the offer. “Too bad, so sad for them.”
He may take some flack for the wigs he uses in his productions, but Tyler Perry has built a billion-dollar brand that has continued to elevate his Hollywood status. He began on the “Chitlin Circuit,” touring in smaller venues in the South, promoting the plays that would earn him international fame. His films have become cult classics and the Madea franchise remains a moneymaker—so much so that he has retired and unretired the character.
Back in 1995, Perry began developing A Jazzman’s Blues, and finally, the filmmaker was able to get the project in motion. During his appearance on the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, Perry revealed that the movie is a drama set in the 1940s.
“I’m beyond excited about it,” said Perry. “It’s something very, very different for me. And, so far the reception of it has been incredible.” However, he did mention that finding actors for the film was a bit of a struggle because he specifically sought out new talent, and while they loved the script, they decided not to move forward.
“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.”
“Too bad, so sad for them,” he added. “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. 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.”
A Jazzman’s Blues will premiere on Netflix on September 23.