Inside Quotes: Essence Atkins On Tyler Perry’s Casting Of Kim Kardashian In ‘Temptation’: ‘Your Experiment Failed’

Inside Quotes: Essence Atkins On Tyler Perry's Casting Of Kim Kardashian In 'Temptation': 'Your Experiment Failed'

“I found it interesting that Tyler did that with Temptation, hiring Kim Kardashian because she has 16 million Twitter followers, which would seem like a brilliant marketing plan […] He has one of the biggest Twitter personalities out there in his movies, and he had one of the worst box office weekends […] It’s not a failure, but it did worse than his movies usually do just based on him […] I thought that was an interesting finding. Your experiment didn’t work. […] People want to see good stories. It’s not necessarily that they want to see Kim Kardashian in a movie. They want to see her in a bikini. They want to see her with Kanye [West]. They want to see her on her show talking about her life with her sisters, but that doesn’t mean that they want to see her in a movie […] The fact that people want to see their lives and the volatility of that…. I don’t think that it translates at all.”

Words from actress Essence Atkins addressing the casting of popular personalities (instead of Actors) in films, hoping that their appearance in those films will increase audience reach and boost ticket sales. 

The interview was done with S2S Magazine, published today, while Atkins was doing press for the home video release of A Haunted House (out on Blu-ray/DVD today), which she co-stars in with Marlon Wayans.

I’d take a guess and say that actors everywhere (especially black actors with training and experience) are probably applauding Atkins’ words, even if they’re doing so in private; after all, who knows when you just might be auditioning for a Tyler Perry movie.

But this is an ongoing, long-standing debate that’s bigger than Tyler Perry casting Kim Kardashian – remember all the hoopla over the casting of rappers/musicians over actors in movies and TV shows? This pretty much falls under the same heading.

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" And at least they display some artistic talent" ~ Wut

BINGO! Porky Pig bursts through a bass drum head, and says "Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-… That's all, folks." It's a wrap! Common sense and insight has hit the floor. I mean, without question it is about Kim K's race, rappers and this–> "What the real conversation is, and Tambay, Accidental Visitor & Sergio have brought it up many times, is that amongst Black Actors, there's a serious dearth of quality male leads"

Starting from the top, every since we broke into the acting business, many of our championed entertainers/actors were SINGERS with a broad range of artistic talent. And surely no one among us can deny the fact that some black folks are just as racist as the overalls wearing Bubba's of the world? So this IS about race, rappers and… can I say it – snobs.

Come on now, not only do we all know there are black racists among us, there's also a segment in our community who loathes any and everything related to rap music, including its performers. So this is not "just" about Tyler Perry and Kim K. It's more about a one-eyed, narrow vision, three headed monster who runs around growling at anything who acts and looks different than him.


Now you want to complain? Is it because Kim is not black that it's a problem because no one complains when all these garbage rappers take acting jobs from real actors. Too little too late. Let Kim K live.




For so many to claim they don't care for Tyler Perry, why do they continue to go see his films? Just so they can be derisive and dismissive? There were others movies showing, if you dislike Tyler's work sooooo much, STOP GOING TO HIS MOVIES!!! You dissenters have more to say and comment, than those who enjoy what he does. Your negative retorts have failed to bring Tyler down, so far, so its unlikely they ever will. He is somewhere living his life, and presumably enjoying it. You are here expending energy dissing him. Sort of telling, I'd say. Get YOUR life…..let Tyler have his. There is no law or mandate that states you must spend money on a Tyler Perry project.


There was no experiment here. Film makers have been using rappers in movies for the same purpose for years. The same goes for pop singers. "Entertainers" have been poaching roles from trained actors for years. I am amazed at how so many actors are in denial about the business they choose to participate in. If an actor wants to be all about the art they need to stay in the independent lane and avoid Hollywood all together. Some people are making films for art and expression. Others are trying to turn a buck. People need to recognize the difference and proceed accordingly. And as long as Tyler Perry continues to get nearly 100 comments on blogs like this while other posts get zero he will keep winning. Perry's detractors keep his name out there more than his supporters.

Mark and Darla

I am the least person in the world to give Kim any compliments, however her acting was good. Her body language, facial and eyes express the correct emotions to match what was taking place in the scene. Critics agenda was to limit attendants for this movie through brute force of nasty review of Kim and the movies itself, it worked.

As for Essence her reasoning is off, Kim fans didn't want to invest the time or money in a movie where Kim wasn't lead actress. I would like to see if Essence reasoning holds up if a movie is made with Kim as the lead actress along with her sister.

I am one of filmmaker worst nightmare when it comes to luring me with a movie trailer, very few trailers intrigue me to set feet in a theater. Temptation was the first Tyler Perry movie I saw in a theater, simply because the trailer fascinated me do to Jurnee and Robbie acting and subject. My instinct was right the movie was entertaining for start to finish. The dialogue between the characters was engaging especially Judith and Harley. Let's just say movie like Temptation, Lolita, Graduate and Who is Afraid of Virginia Wolf is my type of movie

Giving a shout out if you haven't seen Temptation, you are missing a treat.

a wash-up giving criticism to another wash-up??? thats funny to me

Floyd Webb

Interesting this got 84 comments so far including mine. TP is not the problem.

The problem is those of us who fail to produce alternative compelling works, including ME!!

S. Mitchell

TP isn't doing anything that most of Hollywood themselves are doing and that is casting a a person famous for their notoriety more so than talent. Previously and in some cases still, it was famous- at -the moment Athletes who got film roles because they are in the public eye now and producers are trying to catch a ride on their momentary wave of fame. Or Rappers that had a 'hit' record. So many people (I refuse to call them Stars) from reality shows without an ounce of film experience or training are getting film and television roles because of their outlandish personalities or fan bases, not skill. And that just means dollars, not quality to some producers.


@NO BRAINER -You understand film very well and can understand the landscape of it and your intelligent so I know you will appreciate this link even if it's something you already know

"Black" Films Face Obstacles Abroad; Are Foreign Film Markets Still Racist?


Testing. This comment module is frustrating Indiewire. I've been trying to post a comment and it keeps giving me the message about spam when it's a basic comment. Damn!


The scene: A funeral parlor. There's a group of creepy crawlers gathered around the casket of a departed black man. His casket is surrounded by several beautiful bouquets of flowers. One of the visitors has a flat head with a pair of antennae, 3 pairs of legs and a genital opening at the end of his abdomen. He speaks first…

"Well, how'd he go"

A cockroach replies: "Essence Atkins said it was Kim Kardashian"

"But look at all the flowers"

"They say he had a lot of friends"

Narrator: Raid earth blends, it has a not so friendly insecticide that uses a blend of earth and science ingredients with the killing power of the Chrysanthemum flower.

Booger Nose Lampyridae: "Who sent the Chrysanthemums?"

They read the card: "UUUGGGHHH… RAID!!!"

Raid earth blends, uses the power of earth and science to kill bugs dead.


Just checked … Temptation's has made 49 million in 3 weeks. That's a success my friends. It has performed better than Good Deeds, Alex Cross and For Colored Girls.

Leave Tyler alone and make your own films!! o_O


I am in no ways a Kim K fan. I think she did well in the role.

Essence is a hater.


Actually he did NOT have one of the worst box office weekends. If not for 2 very large budgeted movies, he would have been number 1.

And to date the movie (however you may feel about it) has made 49 MILLION bucks, and if he made this movie for 5 million TOO, then he actually won…i thought Kim K's part was ridiculous too but I was just speaking to the point that the experiment "failed", because it actually didn't. #profit


Kim's acting is irrelevant. Temptation was an awful movie. I'm talking Halle Berry BAPS awful. I saw T. Perry's last movie, the Alex Cross flick, and I was starting to give him props. A Cross was a pretty good movie and there is no one else in Hollywood who would offer Cicely Tyson a role in a mainstream film. For that reason, I decided to support TP and now this…so depressing.


Wow . . . didn't know Essence Atkins had so many fans and supporters out there. Too bad they don't watch her shows and show up for her mov . . . oops– I almost wrote "movies"; what movies?


The members of the public swear over and over that they want honest statements from celebs instead of canned, rehearsed statements. Then when someone makes a real statement, the public doesn't welcome the honesty.


I think Essence is very brave and very gracious. As a Black actor in Hollywood, should she just sit there and with a straight face just give some pointless interview about "Gee the Wayans are so funny and I am just grateful to have a part" or should she speak with grace and intelligence about a serious issue in casting, especially casting in "Black" movies? He comment wasn't hateful. It was nothing of the sort. And I think it is important for Black actors to use their opportunities to speak out about these kinds of issues.

Having Kim Kar in his movie didn't benefit Tyler Perry in the way he thought it would. Period. Experiment failed. Hire an actor next time. Or not. But I am glad someone pointed it out.

Bravo Essence Atkins.

Leon Raymond

Damn, whew, you saved me from hurling in the toilet. Your comments (Both) Were right on the Money -point perfect!

Miles Ellison

Since when does it matter if anyone in a Tyler Perry film can act? It's probably better for him to cast people who can't act than it is to cast good actors and pull atrocious performances out of them.


This little girl needs to get her facts right. Temptation has made 50 million so far at the Boxoffice. That's 10 million more then what movie made.


I will admit it. I have watched a few Tyler Perry movies: The Family That Preys, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, and For Colored Girls. Though Tyler Perry is very successful, he is really not that great of a filmmaker: his scripts are simplistic and poorly written, he relies too heavily on melodrama to tell his stories, he has no clue how to frame far away shots, and his production value is low. His casting of Kim Kardashian was an EPIC FAIL simply because she really really cannot act. Plain and simple. More than likely the failure of the movie at the box office was probably due to marketing as well as a weak storyline, which could be discerned from the trailer. As far as Kim Kardashian goes, time will see her go into that good night and fade away even with being the mother of Kanye West's baby. She is a useless, self-absorbed, mean spirited woman.


Temptation made 49 million so far. A Haunted House made 40. So even if the experiment failed, dollars to dollars, Temptation is a winner. After all, at the end of the day it's called show business. Disagreeing with his choice is fine but calling it a failure when Temptation opened better and made more money sounds like sour grapes.

I'm not a fan of Tyler Perry movies but I can concede that he has cornered the market on his genre. They don't appeal to me but they obviously have an audience. He consistently opens movies in the 20+ Million range. If a man will don a dress to put butts in seats, I'm thinking he's not above stunt casting or casting by popularity so the Kim K thing didn't sting.

I am in the business and I learned long ago that commercial success is about money. Indie and arthouse films are about creativity and they tend not to make money.

People just want to work on something they're proud of and that only has to make sense on an individual level. So maybe Tyler Perry is happy having his voice consistently heard and he does the best he can. I see her point but he's just one man.

Don't Comment

@Get whatever your screen name is
You say you don't think I'm in the industry and just 'read' a few blogs, and yet I lambasted everything you said with FACT, for which you couldn't respond nor refute. You're an ignoramus at the highest level. So unless you work at TP aka toilet paper studios, please have several seats. I've forgotten more about this business I'M IN, then you will ever know. There aren't enough blogs in the world for you to even catch up to that. So unless you know what you're talking about, which you DO NOT, just read the article and shut up.

The film has not, will not and never will go INTERNATIONAL. So drop your mute point. He didn't get anymore nor any less publicity b/c only blacks give her and her family any real attention. So if being on bossip, mediatakeout, theybf, sandrarose and some random E online articles makes you consider that 'tyler getting publicity from places he hasn't before' you're not only dumb but semi-retarded.


To clarify, I meant regardless of the acting talent that was cast:
>Three great examples of no-name, or not very well known TV shows/movies that audiences embraced regardless of billing: "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Scandal" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."


Essence makes a great point. The biggest problem with Kim K. and other rappers, singers who try to move into acting is that they don't bring a better performance — or necessarily more $$$ or people to seats — than an unknown, trained actor would. Which is what TP found out.

He expected KK's appearance, and notoriety, to equal a bigger box office, and it didn't pay off.
And as Essence said, just because people are voyeurs in KK's absurd, Whore-ridden, lifestyle, doesn't mean they want to pay to see her pretend she's an actress. It's an apples and oranges situation.

One could say the same about Common in "Hell On Wheels," or "Just Wright." Or Jennifer Hudson on "Smash." … In addition to good storytelling, audiences want good actors — regardless of name recognition. And in the last few decades Hollywood has forgotten that.
And now, with the Internet, everyone can be a critic and the word spreads more quickly about people ability to perform or not. Which also affects the bottomline.

Three great examples of no-name, or not very well known TV shows/movies that audiences embraced regardless of billing: "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Scandal" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."


Whether or not she has a point, why does she feel the need to say this publicly? What does she hope to accomplish? Tyler makes the kind of movies he wants to make. Why does she care what he makes? I don't like many of his works, but I wouldn't diss him for it. Same thing with a filmmaker like Woody Allen; don't like his work, but also don't care enough to hate on him.


I agree with you 100% "DON'T COMMENT IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE INDUSTRY" Most popular reality stars are only famous because of ludicrous shit they have done or did with black people. and that is not a good look for people of colour.

Justin W

She has a point.

Don't Comment if you don't know the Industry

Getthesenets: Um..please don't speak on what you don't know. He didn't hire kim for his 'international' box office numbers. You know why? BECAUSE THIS FOOL'S MOVIES DO NOT GO OVERSEAS! At all. You travel to Jamaica, or countries in Africa, anywhere in Europe, Asia, no one knows who you're talking about. Please do your homework before you speak on this business. Tyler put her in the film b/c of BLACK PEOPLES obsession, whether love or love to hate, that they have for kim. Let's be very clear here. If black americans wouldn't give this woman so much damn attention, she wouldn't exist. She has made her money and her family's money off of the backs of blacks and on her back under a black. Period. Tyler putting her in his film is just another slap in the face to his audience, who is usually too old, too ignorant and too damn lazy to actually see the shit they're being shilled. TP doesn't give a damn about artistic credibility. Hence why he keeps giving you the same script, over and over again, with a different bow on it. And comparing Ice Cube to Kim???? I think if Kim had even an iota of talent/personality or desire to be 'good' beyond 'looking good' no one would say much. But even in her 'walk on' role, she was terrible at even being herself.
Yes other tv shows have celebrity types do walk on roles (i.e. Lala's non acting ass guest starring recently) BUT the reality is, those shows have about 25 people who make that decision, the casting director being the LEAST important of the group. Whereas, TP's films are completely top to bottom done by HIM and him alone. No studio (b/c he produces through his own studio), no producers (he is the sole producer) no writer (he's the writer), no director (he's the director) have any say in who's in his films/shows but him.
Tyler's a joke. His films are a joke. And Essence is just saying what most are afraid to say.

Timeca Seretti

It matters because even some of us that have honed our skills but that are not in major markets like LA, or NY have to fight hard for even those small walk on parts. And to just hand them out to someone because of they're twitter following kills it for some of us who might have otherwise gotten that part. I'm in Austin Texas and I audition in Atlanta, Louisiana, New Mexico……that superfluous role could have gone to me!


He put her in the film to help his international box office numbers

Think it's a hard sell for all black films in foreign markets unless it's a shoot em up street film.

and with all due respect for people who have studied and honed their acting chops…and walked the pavement, done auditions,paid dues,etc…. what's the difference between casting a "real actor" versus a personality in a bit and superfluous role in a film?


it's not high art we're talking about….it's basically a long version of a sitcom or tv drama…and it's the equivalent of a walk on role in either of those.
even law and order has guest walk on roles

Ice Cube, the exec. producer of Essence's current tv show was an untrained actor who did rather well in a pivotal role in BoyzNTheHood. He's the reason why a LOT of butts were in the seats for the film because he was a ridiculously popular rapper back then.

kim got bit part and i'd be interested in seeing the int. marketing for this film and how her appearance is played up.


So true. Especially now that we know you can actually buy Twitter followers, those high numbers are absolutely meaningless.

Wayans Brothers Lover

She's right, and I don't give a FUCK what that dumbass CareyCarey aka CC has to say, with his Tyler Perry stan ass. He probably masturbates to pictures of Madea in his free time. This is the MOTHERFUCKING TRUTH!!!!


Interesting. From what I understand, A haunted house, while it was profitable, has been critically panned, which tends to be the same thing that happens to most of Tyler Perry's films. isn't this criticism a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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