Tyler Perry Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Tyler Perry was on a panel for the Television Critics Association promoting the upcoming live broadcast of The Passion on Fox. After the panel he stayed to speak with reporters more and we asked about his role in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. He is playing Baxter Stockman but said he would not transform into a fly via visual effects, as the comic book character is portrayed.

“Actually just a crazy wig and glasses so that’s pretty exciting,” Perry said. “That was super fun and the movie is super fun.”

After the jump, Perry explains why he signed on for TMNT and weighs in on the Oscars’ lack of diversity. 

Most famous for his Madea movies and the films he directs, Perry said he did TMNT for his infant son. “I saw the last one and thought, ‘I want to be part of this,’” Perry said. “I also wanted to give my son, who just turned one, a different idea of what an actor is, not just me playing Medea. He’s too young to see Gone Girl, so he’ll be able to see the Ninja Turtles. Then maybe I’ll do something else fun for him.”

Fans of the TMNT comic book and Baxter Stockman may be happy to hear Perry read up on the comic books. “A lot of times I don’t want to,” Perry said. “When I did Alex Cross, Morgan Freeman played Cross. He played God. How can you go back? I didn’t even want to compare myself to any of that. I just wanted to do the best that I could in that situation. A lot of times I’ll just do the best that I can, but for Ninja Turtles, like Star Trek or Star Wars, you’ve got to know what’s going on there so I had to go back and do some research.”

Perry also had some interesting thoughts on concerns over diversity in the Academy Awards. With the latest nominations heavily weighted towards Caucasian actors, Perry had a suggestion that could show more diversity without changing the ultimate nominations.

“I think that the way the Academy can stop this is very simple,” Perry said. “Rather than saying who votes, I don’t want to know who voted and how they voted, I’d just like to see the numbers. I think if we saw the numbers of how many people voted for what movie, I think a lot of this would go away. If you look at a movie like Straight Outta Compton, if The Revenant had 10,000 votes and Straight Outta Compton had 9,999 votes, that one vote made the difference. That’s what my interest would be. What are the votes? I don’t think it’s racism. I don’t think it’s madness. Just what are the votes and how does that go? Let’s get that information. Even in the presidential election, we know who voted and how they voted. I think that would solve it.”

The Passion Live airs on March 20. TMNT: Out of the Shadows is in theaters June 3.

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