Read our exclusive interview with David and Tamela Mann, who reprise their roles of Mr. Brown and Cora in the upcoming Tyler Perry-directed movie ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family.’ The comedy-drama, which is set to hit theaters on April 22, 2011, follows Madea, played by Perry, as she helps her niece Shirley, portrayed by Loretta Devine, copes with a recent medical scare. Madea uses her trademark humor to reunite her family in Shirley’s time of need, even as a hidden secret is revealed. The Manns discuss with us, among other things, why they decided to appear in another Madea movie, and what it’s like working with Perry.
Written by: Karen Benardello
Shockya (SY): You are reprising your roles of Brown and Cora from previous Madea movies, including ‘Madea Goes to Jail,’ in ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family.’ Why do you find these characters so appealing, and why did you decide to appear in another Madea movie?
Tamela Mann (TM): Well, we were asked, for one!
David Mann (DM): (laughs) Well, that was the good part!
TM: It’s a good part!
DM: It’s the whole feeling that you can relate (to the characters). Everyone has that uncle, that aunt, that Mr. Brown that doesn’t realize that times have changed. Or that Cora, who is the encourager of the family, or that Madea, who is going to be real with everybody, be honest, sometimes brutally honest, that’s going to bring together the whole family.
SY: What is it like working together on the movie? Do you rehearse together before you started filming?
TM: Yeah, we did, we ran our lines together.
DM: We’ve been doing these characters for a long time. So we kind of feed off of each other’s chemistry.
TM: And with Tyler, who is playing Madea. Most of our scenes are with Madea.
DM: And Joe.
SY: Tyler often focuses on serious issues in his movies, as seen in ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family,’ which focuses on a health scare. Madea is often used as the comic relief in Tyler’s films. What is it about Madea that you find funny?
DM: Well, for one thing, you never know what’s going to come out of her mouth.
TM: Or how she’s going to react.
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