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Janet Jackson and Tyler Perry Interview

Janet Jackson and Tyler Perry both star in Why Did I Get Married Too?, which was also written and directed by Perry. Although he’s not a big name in the UK, Tyler Perry is hugely popular in the States thanks to films like Madea’s Family Reunion and the original Why Did I Get Married? Janet Jackson, although mostly well known for her music career, has acted in various television shows and films, including Poetic Justice. They recently sat down with View London’s Matthew Turner to talk about big families, breaking golf clubs and Why Did I Get Married Too?

How did you get involved with the film?
Janet Jackson (JJ): Tyler. We actually first met when I saw his play in Atlanta and I was leaving down the alley and I heard someone yelling my name and that's how we actually first got together.
Tyler Perry (TP): She was speeding out and I'm running behind her, trying to stop the car. “STOP! I want to say hi!” It was so pathetic. It was so pathetic.
JJ: That's how we met and we expressed wanting to work together and the next thing I know there's a film and he had written two new characters for the script – there was a script and he had written two new characters and he wanted me to portray one of the characters and that's how it kind of all started. And I fell in love with what I read and that was the first Why Did I Get Married?

Where did the idea come from?
TP: I vacation with twelve of my friends every year. I take them on vacation and we've done all over the world and I thought, ‘Man, this would be really a good movie, because a lot of interesting things happen when we're on vacation,’ so that's where it all started for me.

What was Tyler like as a director? It's difficult with him sitting there, obviously...
JJ: Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
TP: No, tell the truth, Janet.
JJ: No, I – (to Tyler) oh, you have a lot of nerve. Actually, no, really, absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed every minute of it and out of all the films that I've done it's the most fun I've ever had on any set. It's family-oriented. His crew is the same crew every time – it's the same guys from the previous film and it's very much so a family atmosphere, which I love, coming from a big family myself. And the cast all got along, so we were really excited to come back and do it all over again.

Speaking of a lot of fun, the breakdown scene that you have is absolutely fantastic. Was that as much fun as it looked, to film?
JJ: No, it actually really wasn't – it wasn't fun. I had the opportunity and was thankful for it, to be able to release, because, you know, the recent tragedy in my family, so I was thankful for that moment. There was a lot of aggression there and it was very cathartic, therapeutic.

What kind of direction did you get for that scene? Was there much of a rehearsal period beforehand?
JJ: There was.
TP: Was there?
JJ: Yeah, you did – just the normal thing you do before we shoot.
TP: Just a little bit. I said, “This is the area I want you to go in” and then I said, “Roll with it” and she went, “Whoa”.
JJ: I hit him.
TP: Yeah, she hit me.
JJ: In the elbow. I didn't know it until just a couple of months ago. I hit myself. I broke three golf clubs. Three irons, actually.
TP: That's the rage that was pent up inside her.

How many times did you shoot that scene?
JJ: I think three.

Did you smash up tables every single time? How many tables did you go through?
JJ: You know, I don't know.
TP: She was out of it.
JJ: I love the throwing part. That's the part that I really enjoyed.
TP: The throwing part? Throwing things at people? Whilst running, ducking from her throwing things?
JJ: (laughs)

You're laughing just thinking about it.
JJ: Well, I did, I have to say, enjoy throwing that at you and Michael Jai White (laughs).
TP: Yeah. Yeah. Us jumping over it.

Do you have another favourite scene in the film?
JJ: I love when all the girls kind of come to my aid, on the stairs. They're looking for me, I haven't been around in a while, no one's seen me, they're all searching for me and they know that I'm kind of going through something. And then they find me there and I love the energy, the feeling, the closeness of the women and them being there for me when I've always been there so much for them, you know, in this film as well as the first.

Was there anything cut out of the film that you hated to lose?
TP: No, actually, I was very precise. There wasn't a lot cut out. I'm usually very precise on the time and everything else. We left a lot in.

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Content updated: 20/09/2019 05:46

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