Tyler Perry says he was “creeped out” by the actress who tried to get his notice with a billboard ad.
How far would you go to become famous? Well, Racquel Bailey, an aspiring actress in Georgia, wanted to get Tyler Perry’s attention so badly she paid for an ad on a billboard in Atlanta promoting herself to the filmmaker and entrepreneur. Now she is an actress on Tyler Perry’s new show ‘Sistas’, a new series about four, Black women in their thirties dating in Atlanta set to premiere on October 23, on BET.
Bailey reportedly first took out the billboard in 2012, but it failed to catch Tyler Perry’s attention. She then tried again several more times over the next few years. But, her latest attempt this past summer went viral and Tyler Perry finally took notice.
After seeing the billboard in June, Tyler Perry shared the ad on Instagram to explicitly request that no one else do the same thing.
“This is not the way to get my attention if you’re looking for a role in one of my shows,” he wrote, in part. “Please DON’T DO THIS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!! This is the third time that someone has done this. PLEASE STOP! To audition is FREE!! I’m sure you can use that money for a better purpose. I love that you want to work with me, and I love that you invest in yourself. But when you do things like this it puts my team on high alert and makes me look at you sideways.”
Ultimately, Bailey did land a role in Tyler Perry’s new series, so did her PR tactic work? Not really. Apparently, Tyler Perry did not find out that Bailey was the same woman on the billboard ad until after he hired her, which means she landed the acting job based on her acting, not her publicity stunt.
Perry was a guest on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, where he explained the whole story.
“That was scary as hell. I was really creeped out about it,” he said on the show when asked about Bailey and the ad. “She auditioned. I didn’t even know it was her. I had separated the two in my mind. She got the job and after she gets the job, they tell me, ‘Oh that’s the girl from the billboard!’ I go, ‘What? Why didn’t somebody tell me!?’ It’s good that she’s good because if you put up a billboard and you suck, it’s not going to work.”
While the billboard did not get her the job, Racquel Bailey never gave up on her dreams and was focused on working with the legendary filmmaker.
Watch the full video with Tyler Perry, above. In other interesting news, Tyler Perry Studios is now hiring.