Tyler Perry is ready to let go of the iconic tough-talking grandmother he introduced to the world almost 20 years ago

By Alexia Fernández
October 30, 2018 10:23 PM
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Tyler Perry is ready to let go of the iconic tough-talking grandmother he introduced to the world almost 20 years ago.

The 49-year-old actor opened up about saying goodbye to Madea — whom he portrays — during an interview on Bevy Smith’s SiriusXM show Bevelations on Monday.

When Smith asked Perry if he was retiring the character, the director laughed and said, “It’s time for me to kill that old bitch, I’m tired, man! I’m tired.”

Perry revealed he completed the upcoming film A Madea Family Funeral two years ago but “didn’t want to go from [Boo! A Madea Halloween] to [Boo 2! A Madea Halloween] to another Madea [movie] so I put Acrimony in front of it.”

The star said he then wrote and filmed the upcoming Tiffany Haddish film Nobody’s Fool and will release A Madea Family Funeral next year.

“We gonna say goodbye in ’19. I just don’t want to be her age playing her,” he said. “So, we’re going to say goodbye to her.”

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Tyler Perry as Madea
| Credit: C Bergman/Tyler Perry Co/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

While fans may miss seeing Madea on the big screen, Perry has a stage play featuring the character in the works during a “farewell tour.”

“All the originals, we’re going to be out there doing it again,” he revealed, referring to the original actors who were involved in his play. “We’ll be out there.”

Perry first unveiled Madea to audiences in the 1999 play I Can Do Bad All by Myself at The Regal Theater in Chicago and followed it up with a series of films and TV shows in which she appeared, most notably Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion, Madea Goes to Jail and Madea’s Witness Protection.

RELATED: Why Tyler Perry Was ‘Scared to Death’ the First Time He Played Madea

The Gone Girl actor has previously credited his mother, Willie Maxine Perry, and Eddie Murphy’s performance in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps for inspiring Madea.

In a 2017 interview with PEOPLE Editor in Chief Jess Cagle, Perry admitted he was initially terrified of portraying Madea during the stage play of I Can Do Bad All By Myself.

“[I was] scared to death. Scared to death because I had never put the costume on during any of the rehearsal,” Perry shared. “It was just weird. I walked out there on the stage and the lights come up and she’s sitting on the sofa. And for the whole first act she was just sitting on the sofa, she wouldn’t move.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 19: Director/Writer Tyler Perry arrives at the Lionsgate premiere of "Madea's Big Happy Family" at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on April 19, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Tyler Perry
| Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty

That all changed when Perry decided to make a change in the stage directions for Madea.

“Well, one day I decided I needed to go and get something out of the kitchen, so I got up and started walking and the audience was howling, laughing. And I thought, ‘What are they laughing at?’ I realized she’s got this big a— in the back,” he said. “It’s like two pigs under the blanket fighting or something. But I started to relax at the end of it because there was an actress who didn’t show up. So I had to do her lines and my lines.”

The actor said he walked out to apologize to the audience for what he thought was a poor performance but was surprised by the acclaim he received.

“I was defeated,” Perry said. “But there was a standing ovation. And that’s where she started.”