A new season of BET’s hit TV show, Assisted Living by Tyler Perry, premiere tonight. The show gives a comical look at a father and grandfather who run a house for the elderly. In this exclusive interview with David and Tamela Mann, we take a look at what to expect in this new season of the show.
You’ve been working with Tyler Perry for quite some time, going back to his stage play days. Tell us how you first met him, and how working with him has evolved over the years.
David Mann: We first met him in 1999 so it’s been a while. I went to Chicago, he was doing his first major play, I Know I’ve Been Changed, and I used my frequent flyer miles to meet him and audition for the first film, I can spoil everything by myself. That was the first time we had with him and next thing you know, we were Mr. Brown and Cora.
tamela mannu: Working with him has evolved a lot! Even watching the journey from stage plays to films to television… watching him grow as a director has been amazing.
David Mannu: director, actor, producer, mogul… you know, he’s all done because when he first started, he was the guy who helped set the stage and make everything happen. Now, to build a studio where he can say ‘Hey, make me a city’ and it happens, you know, it’s evolved a lot.
tamela mannuIt’s amazing and it’s a blessing to be a part of it and it’s a blessing that it has grown since then.
You first reprized your current roles on “Tyler Perry’s Assisted Living” from “Meet the Browns” in 2019. Tell us what it’s like to have such lovable characters that last for years and through different shows.
David Mann: It was a nice transition how it went and it seems to keep getting better and better. And we could never imagine when We started these characters all those years ago. You see that young children now identify with characters like their parents or their grandparents. We have played these characters for over 20 years. So it’s been a blessing.
Tamela Mann: We have people say to us, “Oh, I’ve been watching you since childhood,” and I’m like ‘Wow, this makes us feel real young!’ [sarcastic]
Can you show us a glimpse of what we can expect from the show this season?
Tamela Mann: what can you expect Assisted Living by Tyler Perry Unexpected! And the new characters and stories are a lot of fun. There are some things that are heart touching or hair-raising. They really make you think about how older people are treated, cared for and made sure they still feel like they are a part of life.
David Mannu: We address a lot of issues in this like social work and justice, senior citizens and love. We touch a lot of different things.
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