By Rick Bentley
The Fresno Bee.
At 5 years old, Tyler Perry knew that he wanted to be so successful when he grew up that he could take care of his mother.
His determination never wavered and he’s now one of the most prolific writer / director / actors working, with multiple TV series on the air and his latest movie, “The Single Moms Club,” opening today in theaters.
It wasn’t until his mother, Willie Maxine Perry, died in 2009 that Perry realized striving for success just for his mother wasn’t the wisest thing to do.
“I did everything for my mother. I sacrificed my entire life for her. It worked out because it drove me to success because I wanted to be the kid who made it. But when my mother died, it left me so empty. I didn’t have any of this on my own. There was no success for myself,” Perry says. “It was great. I had it. But, it was all about her. So I had to find a way to re-focus.”
The result of that focus is “The Single Moms Club,” which looks at five women, played by Nia Long, Cocoa Brown, Amy Smart, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Zulay Henao, from different backgrounds who are pushed together. They soon discover they have one thing in common: raising children on their own.
It was Perry’s aunt who served as the inspiration for “The Single Moms Club.”
“My aunt raised four boys by herself. She never took welfare a day in her life. She never begged anybody for anything. But she always made it her own way,” Perry says. “She raised these four boys by herself. I started thinking about her life. This is my homage to her and every single mother out there.”