Tyler Perry is making sure hundreds of Atlanta families have a very merry Christmas.
The actor, writer, director, producer, and entrepreneur revealed via Instagram he paid off all the items people had on layaway at a pair of Atlanta Walmarts as a Christmas gift.
“I know it’s hard times and many people are struggling,” Perry said in the video. “I’m just really really grateful to be able to be in a situation to do this. So God bless you. Go get your stuff.”
The actor paid for all layaway items through 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, telling people they only had to spend one penny when they went to pick their things up.
According to reports, Tyler Perry covered the layaway costs for about 1,500 people and spent about $434,000.
“Tyler Perry’s generous donation is making an unbelievable difference for so many families, and we can’t thank him enough for his kindness,” Walmart said in a statement to TODAY. “The heartfelt excitement and joy we’re seeing from our customers as a result of his holiday gift have been touching.”
Tyler Perry’s new movie Vice
Tyler Perry is now on tour promoting his new movie Vice. The actor is expanding his acting resume with his upcoming character portrayal of Secretary of State Colin Powell. In a recent interview with Vulture about Tyler Perry’s role in the movie, director Adam McKay said Perry has a specific “it” factor. He also respected Perry’s insistence of receiving Powell’s blessing before committing to a project that would not play the Secretary of State in an unfavorable light.
“Only Tyler Perry could just be like, ‘I’m calling Colin Powell.’”
McKay continued “I mean, that just cracked me up right away. The whole idea of Tyler Perry, I was told the idea, and then he came by my office, and I have never met anyone with more presence in my entire life. Like, the guy has gravitas, and instantly I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, he’s Colin Powell.’ So, yeah, he talked to Powell.”
McKay went on, “Tyler’s really, really smart. He gets it. He sees the big picture. I told him, ‘You know, this isn’t one of Powell’s best stories from his life,’ and Tyler was like, ‘I told him that.’ And to Powell’s credit, he acknowledged that, as well … But ultimately—to Powell’s credit, I guess—that was it. It was a quick exchange.”
Vice will recreate Powell’s 2003 United Nations speech where he pushed for the invasion of Iraq, a decision Powell considers to be a “blot” on his professional career.
A rep for the Colin Powell told Vulture, “He and Mr. Perry had a nice conversation and even exchanged copies of their recent books, and General Powell offered his services to Mr. Perry, if he needed any or had any questions.”