“Perry’s a perfect fit as Alex Cross,” claims author James Patterson

“Tyler is much closer to Alex Cross in my books, physically and age wise,” says Patterson.

When best-selling author James Patterson penned a series of novels based on a black detective called Alex Cross nearly 20 years ago, his motive was to create an African American hero.

“I have felt for a long time that the way a lot of movies were portraying African Americans were stupid,” shares the author, “and I just wanted to go against the stereotype and create a hero.”

A fictional character made famous by Morgan Freeman in the movie adaptations “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls,” Alex Cross is an authoritative figure who investigates murders. An intelligent, well-educated family man in his 40s, this hero, as described by Patterson in his novels is six foot three, weighs 200 pounds, and is quite athletic. Physical attributes shared by actor Tyler Perry who plays the detective in the reboot of the movie series.

“Morgan is a great actor,” Patterson continues, “but Tyler is much closer to Alex Cross in the books, physically, and age wise, and in terms of his ability to do action,” adds Patterson who also serves as a producer on the movie directed by Rob Cohen.

Starring Cicely Tyson, Carmen Ejogo, Giancarlo Esposito and based on the novel “Cross”, the film follows homicide detective/psychologist Alex Cross (Perry), as he haunts down a calculated serial killer called Picasso (Matthew Fox). An intense psychological thriller, it marks the first time actor, director, writer and producer Tyler Perry has acted in a movie directed by anyone other than himself since “Star Trek.”

“When you know how to lead, you also have to know how to follow,” explains Perry. “Work for hire was what I committed to do when I signed on for this role. I am good at giving up control to people who know where they are going, and what they are going to do. Rob is that kind of director so I just followed along.”

From ride‐alongs with Atlanta homicide policemen to rigorous training in the self‐defense art of Krav Maga, Perry’s dedication to perfect his part was arduous.

“Knowing that Morgan Freeman had done this role was very, very intimidating,” shares Perry who trained several times a week in self‐defense classes used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies, and also learned how to handle weapons. ” I wanted to do something that I didn’t write, produce, and direct. I was really committed to being this character.”

The plot, initially, is fairly simple: catch a crazy serial killer called Picasso whose ultimate target is a Detroit‐based industrialist called Giles Mercier (Jean Reno), but as Cross tries to anticipate the killer’s next move, the unexpected occurs. With enough twists in the plot to keep the audience entertained “Alex Cross” delivers the requisite action thrills and Perry doesn’t disappoint here.

“When I read the script and understood it and saw James Patterson’s description of Alex, I thought it would be a great role and opportunity,” Perry continues. “This is different from anything I have done before and it is all about evolving, growing, and trying something different. I have never allowed myself to be put in a box so always try to do different things. I did the best I could and that is all I can rely on right now.”

“Alex Cross” opens in theaters October 19

 

 

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