Film-maker Tyler Perry officially christened his sprawling new film studio complex, with fellow entertainment industry luminaries descending on Atlanta for an opening gala.
Attendees warmly greeted Perry, a man who was once homeless and now helms his own studio, one of America’s largest.
“I think it’s pivotal in everything that we’ve done, everything that we’re doing still, that we continue to try to motivate and inspire people,” Perry said as he shook hands with well-wishers.
And there were plenty at the gala to congratulate him.
Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Cicely Tyson, Samuel L Jackson, Halle Berry and others all helped Perry christen his new facility, a 330-acre studio that once served as a Confederate army base.
Winfrey praised Perry and said the new studio head was a force to be reckoned with.
“He didn’t wait for other people to validate or to say you should go this way or that way. He said I’m going to create my own way and as we can see here, become a force for himself,” Winfrey said.
“I remember when he was thinking about buying this place and I said ‘You’d be crazy not to take it’,” she added.
Samuel L Jackson pointed to Perry’s vision as the key to his ascent.
“This is more about Tyler the entrepreneur. The visionary. A guy who understands that ownership means that you can do what you want,” Jackson said, as he paused along the red carpet.
Tyler Perry Studios has 12 soundstages, each named after seminal black actors and actresses.