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Tyler Perry Says He Had No Clue Who David Fincher Was Before He Accepted His ‘Gone Girl’ Role

Tyler Perry Says He Had No Clue Who David Fincher Was Before He Accepted His 'Gone Girl' Role

If you’ve seen the trailer for David Fincher’s much-anticipated thriller, “Gone Girl,” which will be out this fall, it looks like an incredibly gripping thriller. And just judging from it alone, Tyler Perry, who was the unlikely choice for what is a major role as Ben Affleck’s
lawyer, even looks like he gives a really solid performance in the film.

So maybe it was a surprise to learn that, in an interview published today by Yahoo Movies, Perry claims he had no idea who Fincher was before
he accepted the role.

Like seriously? I’m not making this up. Read the piece here.

Here’s the quote: “When he agreed to play
Gone Girl’s charismatic defense attorney, Perry wasn’t familiar with the film’s
inspiration or its A-list director (whose films include “The Social Network” and “Fight Club”…. “I probably would have walked away from it. If I had known who
David Fincher was, and his body of work, or if I’d known the book was so
popular, I would have said, No,” he admits. “And my agent knew that! He didn’t
tell me until after I signed on!”

Now, we’re not talking about some regular Joe audience member who goes to
the movies once in while, and who I wouldn’t necessarily expect to know about any particular director and his
body of work. I could understand that if Perry wasn’t who he’s become. But he’s no ordinary person. He’s a filmmaker. And also, in this case, the director in question is an
established, very successful filmmaker in David Fincher, with many credits to his name. Not someone obscure like Alain Robbe-Grillet, but David Fincher, one of the most influential directors of the last 20 years!

And furthermore why would he have rejected the role if he had known who Fincher was? Yes, he has a well known and established reputation for being very tough, demanding and known for doing some 50-60 takes for every scene. But most actors love a challenge like that, to be pushed to the limit. One wonders after working with Fincher did Perry have any change of attitude or some new point of view regarding filmmaking after working for someone who is totally committed to the craft.

Yeah, yeah I know what some of you are going to say. What
does it matter? He has his own studio, he’s rich, he’s made it on his own, without Hollywood’s permission… yadda yadda yadda. But I’m not buying it. There’s
no excuse for boasting ignorance.

This proves something I’ve always suspected about
Perry – and that is, he just stumbled into films by accident, and that if he made the same amount
of money in some other field, like say real estate, he would have been just as happy. Essentially, he doesn’t have the passion for it. It was never about the art of it, but rather showing
up all those people from his past who abused him, and challenged his worth. This is why he’s never improved as a filmmaker,  nor even seems to care to.

It recalls a question we previously asked on this blog on who Tyler Perry’s cinematic influences are.

was never about films; instead, it was really about being a success. That’s all well and good. Just don’t
call yourself a filmmaker.

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Are we really surprised? Look at Perry's body of work. You nailed it with this one Sergio. He stumbled into filmmaking. He's not a filmmaker. His films scream apathy for the craft. His films speak to an audience who are equally ignorant about movies. Now, I know people here at S&A like to celebrate the few black people who are making quality films. But all honesty, it's not going to improve anytime soon. The deficiency of talented black filmmakers and the desperate praising of the few who are actually mediocre filmmakers at best, allowing the really talentless ones like Perry to get thrown into the mix, will continue to be an ongoing problem in the black filmmaking community with no end in sight. Black film craftsman and filmgoers need to hold on real tight to Steve McQueen's Oscar and the inspiration it brings with it. It may never come that close again to the promise land of cinema ever again. Now, back to Tyler Perry's Madea is Having a Baby with Her Old A$$, only on BET. (out)


Can you imagine Steve Jobs not knowing who Larry ellison or Paul allen are? Miles davis not knowing who charlie mingus was? jeff zucker not knowing who rupert murdoch is?


We/SZ r also d same as TP, we/SZ know of Mr.DF's movies but we/SZ hv nvr heard of him until 2day.

Walter Harris Gavin

"Tyler is worth 400 million…" Really? So why is he acting in this Fincher movie in the first place? I think it's like Donald Trump being a billionaire and needing to star in the Celebrity Apprentice. I suspect that TP's wealth is over rated and as for him doing it his way. He's only going to make films that his corporate masters Lionsgate approves.


SERGIO, THANK YOU! Him not knowing who David Fincher inadvertently shows that he doesn't respect the 'craft' of filmmaking and has an ego so through the roof that he doesn't pay attention to other talented filmmakers that produce a better product. It shows that he isn't keeping current to what's going on in his field. It also proves that he has no interest in 'growing' and getting better as an artist…because he ISN'T an artist. He wasn't in it for the art, but to get the abuse he experienced off his chest. The fact that he didn't know Gone Girl was a popular novel proves that he is probably not a well-read person….which is easy to see based on the things he writes about.


Seem like a bunch of pointless conversations in the comment section again *Exit*

Byron Wigfall

@marie talk about faux Christian beliefs. You’re judging. Lol.


Sergio's on point with this. What's amazing is TP admitting he didn't know who Fincher was! SMH


Please tell me this is press bait.

Then again, T.P. is not a serious Actor, because serious Actors choose their projects wisely–some are paydays, but even those are considered and reconsidered over others. It's about the brand; it's about opportunity cost and your commitment to a role in a project you are fully-informed about in every way. Even if you're not connected in Hollywood, there's always Google. Nobody should trust their agent THIS much.

Then again, I'm certain we'd all be surprised by how many times someone in Hollywood turns to someone else in Hollywood and says, 'Who in the heck is Tyler Perry?' :-)


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post! For those of you who still don't get it, try this: imagine if Kobe Bryant had said in an interview he'd never heard of Shaquille O'Neal until Shaq joined the Lakers. Imagine if in an interview Beyonce had said she'd never heard of Etta James until hired to play her in a film. Do you get it now? If you work in a particular industry, you should know its primary contributors, past and present. You should be learning from others in an effort to improve your own game, whatever game you play. You should borrow from others in your field, and from other fields, to apply to your own work to create something great and unique. David Fincher is one of the most celebrated contemporary American film directors. To not know who he is or be familiar with some of his work when you purport to be a filmmaker is inexcusable. I've always known, even before this interview, that Perry had zero love nor interest for FILM (the opposite of Spike Lee which is one of the reasons Lee dislikes him so much. Lee had the same criticism of Matty Rich.) So glad Perry proved me right. Now I have even more of a reason to reject his classist, vengeful, faux Christian drivel. (Although I'm curious to know why he would've turned down Gone Girl if he'd known about Fincher and his work.) But the question remains that another commenter said: with all of the black acting talent out there, why the hell are A-listers J.J. Abrams and David Fincher hiring C-list acting talent like Perry? They can't possibly think he brings out the black audience. Alex Cross proved that. So what is it? Can't wait for that question to be answered!

Byron Wigfall

Tyler Perry is a filmmaker by definition. Sorry about it. One can argue business man over artist. But he’s a successful filmmaker who’s built his success off of a niche which is something filmmakers as artists aspire to do. Now, I haven’t studied Fincher but I’ve seen the movies listed and I couldn’t say I’d be able pick out his style unless I was told. I agree that broadcasting ignorance is never a good look. My only guess would be that there’s something more ignorant happening that can’t be said publicly. TP is just giving us a hint.


Fincher is a hack who lives off other people's ideas (books)…Tyler Perry is a real artist who creates his own stories…real artists like TP don't get caught up in media hype about who's a bigtime filmmaker…they are too busy doing their own thing…that's why he never heard of the hack book illustrator Fincher


Couldn't have written it any better, Sergio.

Now if only guys like Fincher and JJ Abrahams would stop giving this guy roles in their feature films. There are real black actors out there more worthy of getting a chance in the spotlight.


I have to really laugh at the "artistes". I really do. Lot's of energy spent yada-yada-blah-blah about Tyler Perry. Hmm, here's an idea – put that energy into your own creative project. No? Right, because then you'd have to take charge and responsibility for your own output. Much easier to blow time tracking what TP has done now and go "Blah-blah. Can you believe this guy? Yada-yada. He's a buffoon! Blah-blah."


No, I am not on Tyler Perry nor Oprah's payroll and I didn't know who the hell David Fincher was until I read this post, so lets talk about boasting ignorance. I mean, so the man is now a buffoon who's best friends with Oprah? WTF. Please, lets not talk about silly ignorance.

That said, there is a valid question on the table. Why was Tyler sought after in the first place? Well, I think Andre cleaned that up.

But again, yada-yada-yada y'all, as Sergio said, "What does all this matter?". Well, from Peggy's perspective, this post is for people who don't understand when "we" cinema enthusiasts complain about those who are obviously in it for the money and not the art. To that porous argument I say "POPPYCOCK". I am a cinema enthusiast, but I do not understand why so much time and energy is spent on vilifying another artist.

Victoria Scott

gosh.. you got really offended by that huh ?? get your panties out your ass!!!! take a chill pill.. and BREATH!!

Andre Seewood

Which all begs the question of why Tyler Perry was sought after and cast in a David Fincher film in the first place? Perry has never been known for his dynamic "acting chops" and I can think of several brillant Black male actors who could do wonders with such a role… It is a casting choice itself that reeks of a back door business deal rather than deliberate artistic choice much of it because Perry himself is more of a "business man" rather than an artist of style and substance. Can he leave a positive indellible mark in somebody else's film? Would we dare replace Morgan Freeman from SE7EN with Tyler Perry? Has he ever given us the subtle and dexterious dramatic performance that warrants this casting choice? I'm curious to see if such obvious counter intuitive casting pays off dramatically and financially… very curious.

Dave's Deluxe

What speaks volumes is this buffoon actually said that without shame, to the press. (What speaks even more volumes is this is Oprah Winfrey's best friend, yall.)

Miles Ellison

People in the film industry who actually know how to make movies would probably know who David Fincher is. It's not surprising that Tyler Perry doesn't. Gone Girl was a great book. I was looking forward to this movie until Tyler Perry was cast in it. Now I'm not.

Perry could learn something from Fincher about making movies, but I suspect he'll be writing the next 6 Medea movies in the trailer during breaks instead.

Adam Scott Thompson

That doesn't surprise me since Fincher didn't direct "The Color Purple."


This…this is the best explanation of Tyler Perry, ever. Thank you. And also for people who don't understand when we cinema enthusiasts complain about those who are obviously in it for the money and not the art. Thank you.


But but but HE PUTS BLACK PEOPLE TO WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

is what his acolytes will say…


Sergio I have to say you are right. Tyler Perry doesn't improve on his films. They all seem to be alike, "Madea's Family Reunion", "Madea Goes to Jail", "Diary Of A Mad Black Woman." All of them are exactly the same! I just hope that he doesn't ever do comic books and scifi.


Tyler Perry is a business man! His business so happens to be in films. It's all about making money for business men!

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