Entertainment mogul filmmaker Tyler Perry has enjoyed a strong friendship with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during the years Reed has run the city. He gives Hizzoner a shout-out in his soon-to-be-released inspirational book “Higher is Waiting,” crediting Reed with turning him onto the Fort McPherson property where his studio complex is now located.
So, who’s looking good to him in Tuesday’s contest to succeed Reed?
“I am a fan of Keisha Lance Bottoms and I’m hoping she does well. I’m also a fan of Mary Norwood,” Perry said, diplomatically saluting the two front runners. “I just want whoever’s the best leader for the city. I want somebody who is strong and powerful and will do a great job. I think Kasim did a fantastic job.”
But enough about politics. Perry takes the stage at the Fox Theatre at 3 p.m. Sunday to launch “Higher Is Waiting,” and guests who attend receive a signed copy of the book, in conjunction with local indie favorite A Cappella Books, before you can buy it in stores. It is due out Nov. 14.
Tickets to the Fox appearance range from $38.50 to $128.50, plus fees. See www.FoxTheatre.org, call 855-285-8499, or visit the Fox Theatre Ticket Office.
“It’s a book about taking hold of your life, taking responsibility for what you’ve been through,” Perry said during a Monday morning interview.
The book is part autobiography, part Bible study, with each chapter concluding with Scripture and some points to ponder.
“I’ve been asked to write a book for a very long time. I’m not quite ready to write the memoir. I didn’t know, when I was writing it, that the timing would be so perfect. I didn’t know all this trouble and hell and heartache would be going on.”
The bike path near the World Trade Center site where eight people died after a man plowed a truck through a sea of pedestrians, killing eight, is not far from Perry’s New York home.
“It blew my mind that this would be happening,” he said. “What is going on in this world?”
In his book, Perry talks about how he used to wake up and immediately dive into the day’s headlines, but found it to be taxing after a while. He observes a more abstemious media diet these days, as a way of blocking too much negativity.
“I was troubled and couldn’t sleep. The major issues in the world, you will hear about, even if you’re under a rock. You don’t have to inundate yourself with every little thing. The things that are important, you’ll hear about.”
On that note we decided to end things on a lighter note, and with tomorrow’s election looming, a pivot back to politics. It seems Kasim Reed may soon have some time on his hands – might Perry have a role for him?
“I’m not sure he’ll want to do a Madea movie,” he said, chuckling. “But he knows how to find me!”