Kerry Washington Says Tyler Perry Was Best Person To ‘Direct For Colored Girls’

Movies & TV

GangStarr Girl / November 3, 2010

Tyler Perry’s forthcoming movie adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf has been sparking criticism since the day it was announced earlier this year. One of the issues raised was how can a man direct a work about women but according to Thandie Newton, one of the film’s stars, “the strength of the film caught the attention of the extraordinary collaboration of when a man and a woman can come together.”

Kerry Washington, who plays Kelly/Blue, says that Perry was the only person who could have done the film. She cites his supportive nature and the legacy he has created in Black Hollywood as reasons why he was perfect for the job.“The amount of creative capital that he’s created in this industry, that he’s build in this industry has allowed him to be the person that could make this project happen?,” asks Washington. “Then thank God that the person who could actually make this happen has the emotional intelligence to actually do it right and to be a collaborator so I never thought, ‘Oh gosh he’s a man, he’s not gonna get it.’ Who would come to this material unless they were committed about telling the story about for colored girls?”

And Washington added that another benefit of working with Perry is that he is not just a writer and director but a rarity in the Hollywood movie making business—an actual power player mogul equipped with his own studio.

“I, from beginning to end, felt so grateful that we could live in a time where we could go and do this production with this man. All of us when we go to work in our studios in LA, and you go and shoot in the Greta Garbo Theater and the Charlie Chaplain stage⎯and you’re very grateful to be part of that show biz legacy. But for this movie, we all went off to Atlanta to shoot in his studio, and there we’re on the Sidney Poitier stage and the Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis Theater,” she says. “And you realize the immense power that has been cultivated by him, what he’s created that shows that we actually can own our stories and put them out in the world from a place that actually comes from us. It’s an honor.”