Tyler Perry at the Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala in Atlanta, Georgia.
US writer and director, Tyler Perry has officially opened his massive new film studio in Atlanta, with a party that drew celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Samuel L Jackson and Halle Berry.
Spike Lee, Cicely Tyson and others also helped Perry launch his new facility, a 134-hectare (330-acre) studio, one of the largest in the US, that once served as a Confederate army base.
Oprah Winfrey and her partner, Stedman Graham. Photograph: Paul R Giunta/Getty Images
“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,” said Perry, who was once homeless.
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Winfrey praised Perry and said the new studio head was a force to be reckoned with.
Iyanla Vanzant and Cicely Tyson. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Invision/AP
“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.
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.
Tyler Perry Studios has 12 soundstages, each named after a seminal black actor.
Halle Berry on the red carpet at the party. Photograph: Paras Griffin/Getty Images