According to Tyler Perry, he didn’t choose For Colored Girls, Ntozake Shange’s iconic choreopoem chose him. It was never in his plans to attempt to recreate what he describes as an important work but it popped up in his life so much that he felt he was on to something divine.
“Somebody bought it to me years ago and I said ‘No,’ and Whoopi brought it to me and asked if I wanted to do a revival on Broadway, I said ‘No’ at the time. I wasn’t really interested. I had been hearing the title and somebody else bought it to me so after the fifth time I said, “Ok God something’s here,” said Perry who admitted to quitting amost four times when he agreed to do the project. “I surrendered to that of what it was to get involved in. It was intimidating work because it means so much to so many people, especially women. And not only women of color, but women. I think the most important part of the final work is the final words that are said, ‘I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely.’ I think that it’s about all of these women no matter who you are whether it’s you’re taking that journey walking through your life and finding God for yourself and loving yourself so that’s what it meant for me.”
However, Perry had help learning those lessons. He credits his cast of accomplished actresses with teaching him about women and sisterhood that men don’t always get to see, and says he says he made a better film because of it.
“They were pushing me to make sure that I did a good job as well so they taught me a great deal. There were a lot of things that I would read in the poems that I would miss and then I heard Phylicia say something one day and the way she said a specific word, I got it. The way she said a specific phrasing of certain things in the poem it woke me up to what was happening and it taught me a great deal,” he said. “But more than anything it taught me about this bond that women have and it’s unbreakable. It’s a sisterhood that men don’t get a chance to see."