Why Tyler Perry Says He's Retiring His Iconic Madea Character (Exclusive)

Tyler Perry
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Here's why the actor-director has decided to say goodbye to the beloved old grandmother.

Madea’s days are sadly numbered.

Tyler Perry has been making it known recently that he intends to retire the foul-mouthed grandmother -- the one who helped him in his rise to fame -- with his upcoming movie, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral. Despite the ominous title, Perry told ET over the weekend that he is closing a chapter rather than killing a character.

"Nothing happens to her [at the funeral] but it's just time," the 49-year-old filmmaker told ET's Nischelle Turner on Saturday while promoting another upcoming film, Nobody's Fool. "I'm all about legacy right now. I've done that been there, I can't do that any bigger and any better than what it is. So it is time to do other things ..."

Those other opportunities include Nobody's Fool, which Perry explained gives him the opportunity to branch his filmmaking into new territories, and to work with the most in-demand blockbuster comedian right now, Tiffany Haddish.

"This is my first rated R movie," he noted. "I wanted to do something totally different and that's why [I'm doing] Nobody's Fool, and Tiffany, her rise has just happened. It was just all a match made in Heaven."

On Monday, Perry continued to discuss his decision to retire Madea while appearing on Bevy Smith’s SiriusXM radio show, Bevelations

“This is it,” he said, joking, “It’s time for me to kill that old b**ch. I’m tired!”

“We’re gonna say goodbye in [2019],” he said, later adding, "I just don’t want to be her age, playing her."

However, diehard fans will also be able to catch Madea on the road. Perry stated that he’s lined up a farewell tour for next year, exactly 20 years after the wise-cracking granny first appeared in the stage production of I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Since then, she has appeared in 10 plays, 11 films and one animated feature, Madea’s Tough Love. No character has been more integral to Perry’s branding.

In her last film, the matriarch heads to a family reunion in rural Georgia that takes a turn for the worst, forcing them to plan an unexpected funeral. As in previous films, the newly released trailer features no shortage of hilarious shenanigans from Madea as she takes charge of the funeral.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral arrives in theaters on March 1, 2019, while you can see Nobody's Fool on the big screen starting this Friday, Nov. 2.

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