Celebrity Interviews: Tyler Perry tackles Turtles in “TMNT” sequel




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By Samantha Ofole-Prince/Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Tyler Perry as Baxter Stockman

He garnered rave reviews for his role opposite Ben Affleck in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl,” played a brilliant homicide detective and psychologist in the popular action-thriller “Alex Cross.” Now, Tyler Perry is tackling the role of a nerdy professor in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise.

“I play Baxter Stockman, who is this wonderful, kind, loving and gentle man. People think he is a mad scientist, but I think he’s just misunderstood,” adds Perry who jumped at the chance to be part of a movie his says his son would enjoy.

Directed by Dave Green (“Earth to Echo”), this sequel sees the pizza loving reptilian heroes attempting to stop a nasty villain from world domination. Reprising their roles as the titular turtles are Pete Ploszek as Leonardo, the stoic, disciplined leader of the foursome; Alan Ritchson as Raphael, the hot-headed rebel; Jeremy Howard as Donatello, the tech-savvy inventor; and Noel Fisher as irrepressible, fun-loving, Michelangelo, who longs to live the life of a human teenager.

Left to right- Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael

“The turtles are endearing and you just want to be around them,” Perry continues. “They are fun mutants who are cool and want to save the world. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with people who can save the world?”

With many comical moments and nods to films such as “Training Day,” the turtles are forced out of their underground lair when they learn the super villain Shredder (Brian Tee), who they captured in the first film, has escaped from prison. Shredder and his two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE Superstar Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly) have a diabolical plan to take over the world.

Tyler Perry plays a mad scientist

“My character teams up with Shredder and finds himself in a crazy situation and ends up losing the battle he thought would be his rise to power,” says Perry. "The thing I love the most about this character is that he does all the work, but he's completely ignored and underserved," he continues. "I can relate to that, growing up as an underdog, so I immediately sparked to him. The opportunity to play a mad scientist who becomes even madder was a lot of fun. He starts off as a not so bad guy, but becomes one of the worst guys."

There’s also a great message about acceptance in this sequel for at the start of the film, Michelangelo is enjoying a Halloween parade and the unique freedom it allows the mutant turtle to mingle with his fellow New Yorkers. After experiencing a taste of what it's like to be 'normal’ he yearns to be human and struggles for acceptance, which becomes a major theme of the film.

“This movie is about accepting yourself for who you really are and that’s what the turtles have done in this film,” Perry adds. “I hope that when people see it that teenagers get that it's okay to be yourself.”

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is out in theaters.

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