Tyler Perry Defends One of His Most Controversial Characters
Some call her a hypocrite. Others call her a strong Christian woman. Tyler Perry calls her one of the most controversial characters he’s ever written. She’s Hanna Young, the struggling single mother played by actress Crystal Fox on OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots.”
When Perry sat down with the cast of his hit drama series on “The Tyler Perry Show,” he asked Fox how she felt about playing a character viewers love to hate.
“You are one of the most controversial characters I have ever written,” Perry tells Fox. “Because she’s Christian. And lots of people, man. They are giving you, ‘What kind of Christian does not talk to their daughter? What kind of Christian does not tell her daughter where her son is?’”
Fox, who says she works on her faith every day in her own life, says she didn’t steer away from the role. “I think when you’re a real human being, if you show people the reality of people, it’s a wonderful privilege and a wonderful gift to be able to do that. So I think Hanna is a real strong Christian. She’s human, though, and we make mistakes.”
That imperfection is exactly what Perry says he wanted to show in Hanna. “I did not want to write the perfect Christian — because I don’t know any,” Perry says.
“There was only one, and it was Jesus,” he continues. “But on this earth, I feel like people have put so much emphasis on trying to be perfect that nobody wants to strive or even look towards Christianity.
Everybody’s looking at everything else because the image of it is that you have to be perfect, which is not so. It is not so. It is a process, it is about being the best you can be, and being as strong as you can be to grow through whatever you’re going through.”