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Latest on Fiscal Cliff Negotiations; Interview with Tyler Perry; Interview with Brandy

Aired December 28, 2012 - 21:00   ET


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Piers Morgan's interview with Tyler Perry begins in just a minute. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington, with the latest on the fiscal cliff negotiations.

There was a big meeting at the White House today between the president and the four leaders, two Republicans and two Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Senator Harry Reid told reporters afterwards that the next 24 hours would be very important, as he and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell try to put together something that would pass both of their caucuses, that Republicans in the Senate would vote for and that Democrats in the Senate would vote for. And then, of course, it would have to go to the House.

Now, the majority leader, Senator Reid, said he's readying a bill for a vote on Monday to prevent a tax hike on incomes up to $250,000. Senator Reid says his bill will include all of the additional provisions that the president outlined that include long-term unemployment benefits, a continuation of those. That would be sort of the Plan B for Democrats simply because what they would rather do is get a bill with Senator Reid working in conjunction with Senator McConnell. Senator Reid said he's awaiting good faith proposals from the Republicans.

President Obama said after the meeting that he is modestly optimistic a deal can be reached, but as you can hear from Senator Reid, the president asked that if a deal between Republicans and Democrats cannot be reached, then the president wants just an up or down vote on what he wants, which is quite simply no income tax rates going up for people making $250,000 and under, and an extension of long-term unemployment benefits. And that's, of course, for the long- term unemployed as well as what's known as a "doc fix", which has to do with Medicare payments to doctors.

That's where we are. We don't expect anything big in the next 24 hours, but this is after all Washington. So, stay tuned.

Right now, it is time for PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, Tyler Perry is not just an extraordinarily successful writer, director and actor.


MORGAN: Had a word with my friend Oprah about how --

TYLER PERRY, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: Absolutely. She told me you were the best interviewer in the world. So, I'm very, very worried.


MORGAN: He's also entrepreneur with his own movie studio -- a man whose films have grossed over $600 million.


PERRY: To make that type of money means that I get to reinvest in what I do and I'm able to hire a lot more people.


MORGAN: And a man who knows how to wear a dress.


MORGAN: Have you ever thought you were going to be world famous for cross dressing?

PERRY: No, never -- never in a million years. Even the first time I did it, I never thought that it would last as long as it did.


MORGAN: Tyler Perry, an all-American success story.


PERRY: The greatest gift in my life is what my audience has given me.


MORGAN: And she's a fine girl.

My old friend Brandy back to the spotlight and speaking from the heart about her mentor, Whitney Houston.


BRANDY, SINGER: I felt like I wasn't there for her enough at the end of her life.




MORGAN: Now to the man of the hour, Tyler Perry. Welcome, Tyler.

PERRY: Thank you. Thank you.

MORGAN: Are you nervous?

PERRY: A little bit. Yes, a little bit.

MORGAN: Had a word with my friend Oprah about how --

PERRY: Absolutely. She told me you were the best interviewer in the world, so I'm very, very worried. It's all good.


MORGAN: Well, high praise from the queen herself.

Tyler, you weren't called Tyler Perry as a boy. You were born Emmitt Perry, Jr. You changed your name, you said, to distance yourself from your father, who -- let's be honest -- he sounds pretty brutal. He used to beat you relentlessly as a young man, which must have had an effect on you.

PERRY: Yes, well, of course, it -- of course it did. But, you know, I was able to forgive him in my -- in my mid-20s. And that changed my life, because what I did was -- what -- what I think a lot of people don't realize or understand is that their parents have a story, too.

Now, and so whatever happened in your life because of them is may -- you -- you really need to find out the story so that you can understand it.

And what I found about he and his sister and his brother, they were all found by a white man in rural Louisiana, in a ditch. He was two years old at the time. He was brought to a 14 -year-old woman named Mae (ph) to raise. Her father was bedridden, a very old man, who was a slave.

And everything that she knew to do to get these children to behave was to beat them. And she would tie them in a potato sack, hang them in a tree and she would beat them.

So, that's what this -- that's what he knew. That's what he came from.

MORGAN: He had been abused?

PERRY: Oh, abused his entire life. You know, a third grade education.

MORGAN: How did you find this out?

PERRY: I found it out by asking questions, finally, of him, because I was talking to him --

MORGAN: So, he told you?

PERRY: He told me a lot about it. My aunts told me about it. And other people in the town -- the small town in Louisiana where he grew up, they told me about the story.

So it helped me to understand a lot of who he is, which was -- which made it easier for me to let go and forgive him.

MORGAN: Hard to forgive, though.

PERRY: It is. It is, but it's very necessary, because what I found that is this -- and this is so true -- if you do not forgive, you hold onto this thing inside of you that can change your life for the -- and take you in the wrong direction.

Nine times out of 10, the people that have done things to you are asleep and at peace and you're holding onto it. And it'd be -- it can really literally become sickness in your body and make you physically ill.

So I think that forgiveness is beyond important.

MORGAN: Is he still alive, your father?

PERRY: Yes, he's still alive.

MORGAN: And what kind of relationship do you have with him?

PERRY: We don't speak very much, but I am taking care of him. I make sure he has everything he needs.

MORGAN: You support him?

PERRY: Absolutely, 100 percent. As a child, he wasn't a great father, but he was a great provider and he had an incredible work ethic. So he definitely gave me my work ethic.

MORGAN: Do you think despite the way that he -- he manhandled you and beat you and so on, did you feel that he loved you?

PERRY: No, I never felt that. I never felt that. I felt very strongly that there was something there and I didn't know what it was. And when I was about 30, my mother told me he never thought that I was his child. So --

MORGAN: Really?

PERRY: -- so that was another thing I didn't know, which caused a lot of issues, as well.

MORGAN: Did you have that out with him?

PERRY: I did, about four years ago, I asked, why. And all he could tell me through his tears was you -- he -- this is what he said, "You don't know what happened to me," which clearly made me stop and go, you know what, I don't. But that doesn't justify what you did. But I will take that and I will try and consider it and understand it and make it work for the better of both of us and this relationship as father and son.

MORGAN: Is he proud of you, for what you've achieved?

PERRY: I think so, because he -- in any situation, he's in tears. Everything that happens, he cries. Every --

MORGAN: Is that guilt, do you think?

PERRY: Listen, that's exactly what I thought very early on. Every award, every situation, every you see him, ad for one of my films or something, or come to one of the shows, there will be tears. And I always thought it was tremendous guilt.

MORGAN: Has he ever said sorry?

PERRY: No, he hasn't. He hasn't.

MORGAN: Would you like him to?

PERRY: At this point, I don't know if it matters. I really don't know if it matters, because I really have -- I really am done with it. So I don't know if it matters if he said he was sorry.

MORGAN: By contrast, you have this amazing relationship with your mother --


MORGAN: -- who sounds a fabulous woman.


MORGAN: And, sadly, died a few years ago. But tell me about her.

PERRY: She was, again, born in the same little small town. Her mother died when she was 13 years old. She met my father when she was 17.

He would come and visit her every week. And he'd show up in these new Cadillacs and Buicks. And she thought he was rich and he was going to take her to live on his cattle ranch in Texas. This is what he told her.

They get married. She goes down to New Orleans. They end up in a juke joint for 12 hours looking for a place to live. She had no idea.

So, she left my grandfather and moved in with him and her sole support was my father. So that's all she knew. All she knew was to -- she would go to my aunts and say, you know, we're having trouble. He -- where he's fighting me, he's hitting me. What should I do?

And they would say stay with that man, he's good, he's got a job. That was a different time back then.

So, she was a great woman, wonderful story. She worked at a Jewish community center for many years, taking care of the little kids there, and was just a beautiful, beautiful soul who only knew how to love, only -- there were so many people -- and I remember as a boy, waking up and there would be people in the house all the time who needed a place to stay, who needed food, who needed anything.

She was just a wonderful, wonderful woman.

MORGAN: What did she make of what happened to you?

She must have been stunned. Or did she quietly think all the time -- Tyler is going to make something big of himself?

PERRY: She -- it -- well, you mean of all the success?


PERRY: It was remarkable to her, because she would always say to me she had always wanted to live like Ms. Chancellor on "The Young and the Restless."


PERRY: That -- you know, and she never thought she would.

So, the greatest -- the greatest gift in my life was what my audience has given me, and that is the opportunity to take care of her and have her live the best life that she could.

MORGAN: I really love your story that -- that she passed a showroom or something, or a car on the road, which was a red Jaguar.


MORGAN: And she just said, I'd love to have one of those.


MORGAN: Did you ever get the chance to --

PERRY: I did.

MORGAN: -- get her a red Jaguar?

PERRY: I did. I was a little boy at the time. And she -- we're driving and she goes, "Man, I really like that car." And I said when I get -- when I get big, I'm going to buy you that car.

And I was in New Orleans on stage at the Sanger Theater. This was before Katrina. And called her up on stage one night during a -- I think it was close to Mother's Day. And I gave her the keys to the car.

MORGAN: What a moment. PERRY: That was a great moment. Yes. So many tears in the audience and so many tears from her. It was a really good moment.

MORGAN: What did she say to you?

PERRY: Just -- she's speechless, just a thank you and the love.

And here's a woman who never asked me for a dime, never asked me for a dime.

But as a little boy, watching all that she had gone through, I wanted to do everything I could to take care of her and to make sure she had the best life she could. And because of my audience, God bless them, I was able to do that.

MORGAN: After the break, Tyler, let's talk about money, fame, love and Oprah.


MORGAN: Maybe they're all linked there somewhere.

PERRY: All together. They're all together.


PERRY: Lord, have mercy. How you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The same as you come before me more than you go to the doctor, for a checkup.

PERRY: Listen, I done changed my life. I'm living for the Lord. I am living for the Lord. I am living for the Lord. Hallelujah, I feel him down in my spirit. You know, as I think about the goodness of Jesus and all that he has done for me, my soul cries out hallelujah, thank God for saving me.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a cute little thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your hands off of me.

PERRY: Young man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who you think you're talking to, old lady?

PERRY: You don't know me. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. Now get the hell up from the table.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess nobody told you I run this prison. I'm Big Sal. What Big Sal wants, Big Sal gets.

PERRY: I guess nobody told you that I'm Madea. Ma to the damn d-e-a. You understand that?


MORGAN: Madea, Tyler Perry grimacing there with a mixture of -- of joy and horror --


MORGAN: -- at the character he created. He made a huge franchise, an amazing franchise actually came out of that, seven movies.

PERRY: Joy and horror, that's just about right, Piers.


PERRY: Yes, yes, yes.

MORGAN: Did you ever think, when you were young and you -- you thought of treading the boards that one day you'd be world famous for cross dressing?

PERRY: Yes, never --


PERRY: -- never in my years. Even the first time I did it, I never thought that it would -- that it would last as long as it did. I just thought -- I saw Eddie Murphy do it, the brilliant Eddie Murphy, in "The Clumps," and I said, OK, I'll try my hand at a female character and I'd do it.

And the audience won't let it go, man. They love it.

MORGAN: Oprah had a great line about this, which I thought was probably true, though I'm interested in what you think. She says, "I think Tyler grew up being raised by strong black women."


MORGAN: "And so much of what he does is really in celebration of that. I think that's what Madea really is, a compilation of all these strong black women that I know and maybe you do, too. And so the reason it works is because people see themselves."

PERRY: Sure. Sure.

Yes. And what I've found is that as I've traveled the country, that -- that Madea isn't just a black woman. There are lots of other Madeas from every -- I've met a Jewish Madea, I've met an Italian Madea, you know?

MORGAN: It's about strong women. PERRY: Strong women, yes. Absolutely, the strength of the woman. And -- and there were a lot of those women around me. My mother was one. My aunt was another, who, you know, this woman carried a razor all the time.

You know, these women were very strong and you wouldn't want to run into them in a dark alley because you'd be in trouble.



MORGAN: Last year, "Forbes" listed you as the highest paid man in entertainment --


MORGAN: -- making $130 million.

PERRY: Hmmm.


PERRY: Hmmm.

MORGAN: Any comment?

PERRY: No. Next question. I mean, I --

MORGAN: You feel uncomfortable talking about money?

PERRY: I just try -- it drives me insane. It really drives me insane, because I don't -- because, you know, it's great. I'm grateful for it. I really, really truly am.

But I don't -- I don't necessarily want it printed. You know, I don't think people want their income printed. Yes.

MORGAN: If I earned that kind of money, I'd want it printed.

PERRY: No, no, no.

MORGAN: What's the point of working that hard if you can't --

PERRY: Well --

MORGAN: -- show off about it?

PERRY: No, who wants to show -- it's not a -- it's certainly not about showing off.

But, you know, what that means to me, honestly, is this -- is to make that type of money means that I get to reinvest it in what I do, because I invest in myself. And I'm able to hire a lot more people down there at the studio and do more films.

So that's --


MORGAN: -- studio, the Tyler Perry Studio. I mean that's pretty cool.


MORGAN: Your motto is a place where even dreams believe.


MORGAN: I love that.

PERRY: Yes, yes. Because that's -- I read the story of David in the Bible. And there was a moment in his life where he was a dreamer, but he was in prison and the dreams kept reminding him to keep going.

So he stopped believing, but the dream itself kept believing. So that's where the -- that the mantra came from. This -- sometimes things get so rough and so bad in your life that your dreams have to dream for you and remind you to keep going.

MORGAN: What is the best thing about money, though, for you?

PERRY: Again, the best thing which is -- which changed my entire life was being able to support my mother. That's where all the drive came from --

MORGAN: I'm told you're ridiculously generous.


MORGAN: Like, you -- you know, you can't watch television without getting the checkbook out and wanting to help people.

PERRY: Sometimes. That's why it's very difficult for me to watch the news, because I always find a way to -- yes, I want to reach out. Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: It's a nice idea.

PERRY: OK. Thank you.

MORGAN: Why do you -- why do you feel awkward talking about this kind of thing?

PERRY: Well, because it's -- I just feel that to whom much is given, much is required. And everybody doesn't have to know all of the other sides of it. Whatever you do for people and the kindness that you show, it's not necessarily for everybody to know.

That's my --

MORGAN: Unlike most celebrities I've interviewed in your position who have been this successful, there doesn't seem to be any terrible drug, alcohol-related period where you had to go in the Betty Ford Clinic for a year. None of that.

How have you avoided the pitfalls that go with superstar fame, big money and all the rest of it?

PERRY: My faith. It has completely 100 percent been my faith in God and believing and praying all the time, because this entire life, when I look at all these people and what they go through and how they go through it -- and Whitney was a friend of mine and Michael Jackson and the struggle. I feel I understand what brings you to a point of I need some relief.

I completely understand it, because the pressure of the situation can be really difficult and demanding. And it affects -- it doesn't affect you as much as it affects everybody around you, which in turns -- in turn will affect you.

So I -- I understand that --

MORGAN: See, that's a very good point.


MORGAN: That's a point that people don't see often enough, is that they say, well, how can superstars have pressure?

I mean they're not coal miners, are they?

And I say no, but it's a very particular pressure?

PERRY: Sure. Sure.

MORGAN: Because their fame causes all sorts of ripple effects.

PERRY: Yes, with everything.

MORGAN: They end up they can't trust anybody.


MORGAN: Family members betray them and so on and so on. It's a very --

PERRY: All of that.

MORGAN: -- different kind of pressure.

PERRY: All of that.

MORGAN: It can get overwhelming for people.

PERRY: Absolutely. And I understand why people turn to some sort of relief. And I'm telling you, if I didn't have my faith in God, I don't know where I would be.

And you add to that your income has been printed for millions of people to read, it changes everything and the people around you. You're still the same person going what -- what's the matter, what's happening? And --

MORGAN: Because I quite like it until I read that. Awful bastard. (INAUDIBLE)




PERRY: Exactly. So I've got a lot of -- I've gotten a lot of that. I've got that bastard. I've gotten a lot of that.

MORGAN: Oprah has been a great role model to you.


MORGAN: You've just joined her network --


MORGAN: -- to -- to work with her, which I great for her and great for you, I think.


MORGAN: Tell me about Oprah, because I -- I love Oprah. She did my first show. She couldn't have been more gracious to me.

PERRY: Yes, a great interview, too.


PERRY: You know, there's not much I can say about her that -- that isn't known. What you see is what you get.

MORGAN: It's true.

PERRY: She is who she is. I mean, and I think that's why "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and her legacy and everything that she's done has been so profound, because it is all authentic and real. To -- to the millionth of an inch, it's all very, very real. It comes from her soul and her heart.

And what she does and wants to do is inspire, uplift and encourage, which is what -- in my wheelhouse, as well. So that's why we clicked and became such great friends.

MORGAN: What advice has she given you now that you're joining her network?

I mean, basically, you're working for her. She's the boss.


PERRY: Yes. Yes. I -- I think that the -- the best advice that she's given me is come here and do what you do. You know, do what you do and be comfortable doing what you do. And I'm very honored to even have an opportunity to work with her, because the woman has inspired me my entire life.

So to be able to join forces and -- and go in and -- because I've -- I'm moving toward having my own network and -- and we get an opportunity to help each other. I have programming and can produce content and she needs programming content. And she has the experience of starting her own network.

So it's a great trade-off and a great situation.

MORGAN: Let's take another break, Tyler.

When we come back, we'll talk to you about love --


MORGAN: -- romance --


MORGAN: -- marriage, children --


MORGAN: -- and Morgan Freeman.

PERRY: OK, cool. In that order.

MORGAN: Not necessarily in that order.

PERRY: In that order. In that order.


MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) Morgan Freeman in the back of all the others.



PERRY: Let me see your hands. Let me see your hands! Put down the gun. Put down the weapon now. Do it now! Is this what you want to die doing? Drop the gun! Put your hands behind your back now, sir.


MORGAN: Getting tough as an action hero. That's Tyler Perry in the new film, "Alex Cross." It's a very big departure for you, this.

PERRY: Yes, yes.

MORGAN: I've never seen you in quite this role.

Do you enjoy playing the action hero?

PERRY: I actually did. I never thought of it as an action hero, though. I -- when I read the script, I -- I looked at his entire arc and it was very interesting to me. The one thing that made me say no was Morgan Freeman. And I --

MORGAN: Yes, replacing Morgan Freeman --

PERRY: Yes, yes.

MORGAN: -- is like replacing Sean Connery as Bond or something.

PERRY: Look, the --

MORGAN: I mean --

PERRY: -- the man played God, OK?

And he played --

MORGAN: He's my -- he's my movie god.

PERRY: Yes. He played God in a movie, so I couldn't -- I -- I'm like --


PERRY: -- I'm -- but as I looked at James Patterson's description and the physicality and the age and family and I thought, well, he's talking about me.

So I gave it a second look. And I love the art (ph) that I get to play in this -- in this role. I get to go from the family man to the brilliant psychologist figuring things out to chasing down a bad guy to this lion being unleashed at the end of the movie.

So I'm -- I'm super excited about it.

MORGAN: You're also super slim --


MORGAN: -- Tyler. And we've got here "Men's Health."

Look at this. You've lost 30 pounds.

PERRY: Yes, I dropped 30 pounds.

MORGAN: This is one of those sort of gut-busting front covers.



MORGAN: How Tyler Perry dropped 30 pounds and you can, too. But you do look a great (INAUDIBLE). How did you do it?

PERRY: Mostly I worked with the trainers, Anthony Goldstein (ph), a great guy. There's a book called "Pray Fit" that really helps with prayer and working out.

MORGAN: But is it basically about you just don't eat as much --

PERRY: Yes, you don't --

MORGAN: You don't eat as much.

PERRY: -- you don't eat as much and you move a lot more. And the thing that -- I was working out and running five miles. But this crowd magaz (ph) Israeli fighting. And I'm telling you -- and I'm dropping names here, but this guy Eric (ph) down in Atlanta who worked with me was amazing at -- I did it for five minutes and couldn't get off the floor, could not get off the floor. I couldn't get through a whole workout.

But it's -- it's amazing to get you to really shed the pounds.

MORGAN: Let's talk about love, Tyler.


MORGAN: Let me ask that again.

Let's talk about love, Tyler.

PERRY: OK. Fine. Let's talk about love.

MORGAN: How many times have you been properly in love in your life?

PERRY: What does that mean? What does that mean? Like --

MORGAN: That's what Oprah said to me.

And I said, you know, there's -- the type that makes your heart ache or break, that's what it means, that kind of love.

PERRY: If I told you the truth, I'd get in trouble. So --


PERRY: Because there are --


So, "Alex Cross" is an amazing --

MORGAN: Tyler.

PERRY: -- movie.


MORGAN: Tyler, I'm not letting you --


PERRY: OK. OK. OK. It's just -- all right. All right. Once.

MORGAN: Really?

PERRY: Once, yes. Yes.

MORGAN: And what went wrong?

PERRY: I think we were both very young. Well, we were mid-'30s, which was -- it was a very scary time in my life. I was just coming into success. I had spent 28 years of my life being very unhappy. And I was very -- I was very afraid of it. I was very afraid of the feeling of not being able to know if she loved me the way that I loved her.

And the control, I think, scared me.

MORGAN: It -- was it, in the end, your decision to walk away?

PERRY: Yes, it was.

MORGAN: Do you regret that?

PERRY: No, I don't.

MORGAN: You thought it was the right thing?

PERRY: Yes, because we both were in a place where -- and I just realized I should not have said this, because --


PERRY: -- I should not have said this be --



MORGAN: Why shouldn't you have said it?

PERRY: Because I said too much. Now, she'll figure it out and -- and, yes.

MORGAN: What will she figure out, though?

She knows what happened.

PERRY: Why don't you ask another question?


PERRY: Why don't you ask another question?

MORGAN: It's a fascinating side to you, because you're being so nice about it and -- and so honest.

PERRY: OK. All right.

So what do we want talk about now?

MORGAN: I suppose the obvious question after that is do you -- do you hope to have that again in your life?

I mean, do you -- is -- you're so busy, you're so successful.

PERRY: Well, that's part of the reason that I'm -- I'm so busy. Like there -- there's a woman that I'm seeing now that I love very, very much. It's a different kind of love, but I love her very, very much. And --

MORGAN: Now I'm beginning to work out why you dug yourself into a hole.

PERRY: See, now you understand.


PERRY: So now you see me trying to dig myself out of the hole --

MORGAN: Yes, I do.


PERRY: There it is.


PERRY: So that's -- that's OK. So -- so what -- what I'm --


PERRY: -- what I'm trying to do at this point is -- is just enjoy it all. I'm not ready to settle down. I'm not ready to get married. I'm not ready to be in a situation where I have a commitment. I'm not ready for that, and especially after that situation.

MORGAN: Right. I see.

You went through a very deep experience.


MORGAN: And you just want to be sure next time that it's right.

PERRY: And what's the rush?

MORGAN: Yes. PERRY: I'm a guy. I'm 43. I've got no biological clock.

MORGAN: But don't you want little Tylers running around?

PERRY: Yes, I want that more than I want to be married, though. So, I -- I just have to find a way that I'm OK with that happening.

MORGAN: Well, I wish you luck, Tyler. There's no hurry.


MORGAN: -- you've probably got a cue of (INAUDIBLE), don't you? You have a line probably the length of Manhattan of potential suitors, I would imagine.

PERRY: And I appreciate that.

OK, we're moving on to something else?

MORGAN: Should we move on?

PERRY: Yes, please. Thank you so much. Whew. Wow! All right.

MORGAN: Do you want have a glass of water?

PERRY: No, it's all good. Thank you. I -- I need a shot of vodka, my friend, that's what I need now, at this point.


MORGAN: Let me ask you one thing. You cast Kim Kardashian in a film about marriage counseling.

PERRY: And then it really gets worse.

MORGAN: I mean seriously.


MORGAN: Seriously. I know that --



PERRY: Well, you went from bad to worse, yes.

MORGAN: But what --

PERRY: Yes, I did.

MORGAN: -- were you thinking?

PERRY: No, no, no, no, no. Let me just tell you this. I mean, the --

MORGAN: Kim Kardashian --

PERRY: No, let me --

MORGAN: -- is to marriage counseling what Bernie Madoff is to financial management.

PERRY: Let me -- let me make this perfectly clear about Kim Kardashian and my choice of casting her in this film. I wrote a film that is -- it's coming out in March. And it's -- it's called "The Marriage Counselor."

And it is about -- it's a cautionary tale about making bad decisions in relationships. I had no idea she was married. I had no idea she was going through what she was going through. I had no idea she was going to go through a divorce. I --

MORGAN: Did you have any idea who she was?

PERRY: To be honest with you, I did not.

MORGAN: You'd never heard of her?

PERRY: I -- I had heard of her, but I didn't know all of -- that she had done. But what I know about her is this. She's a sweet girl.

MORGAN: Um-hmm.

PERRY: She came in. She did a great job. She was very professional.

I'm very happy with what she did. And I'm also very happy that -- of this. And hear me clearly when I say this. There are millions of people who look up to the Kardashians. And I think it's very responsible to have someone like Kim Kardashian in a film that is a cautionary tale about making bad decisions and choices, so that if people or children or fans of hers are watching and coming in and they see this story, if it speaks to them, then she's done a great job and I've done a great job in putting her in the movie.

MORGAN: And, by the way, she has about 18 million followers on Twitter.

PERRY: So you understand what I'm saying.

MORGAN: I get it.


MORGAN: I interviewed her and her sister.


MORGAN: I was impressed by her.


MORGAN: She -- she doesn't claim to be anything she's not.


MORGAN: She doesn't claim to be fabulously talented. What she is --

PERRY: Is beautiful.

MORGAN: -- very hard-working.

PERRY: She's very hard-working.

MORGAN: She's very beautiful.


MORGAN: And knows how to work her brand.

PERRY: Yes. Yes, very much. Very much. And --

MORGAN: Whether she's the right person for a marriage counselor, you know, I'm not entirely sure.

PERRY: She's not the marriage counselor. She has --

MORGAN: I wouldn't advise you to take her under your arm and say, hey, Kim, help me out with this problem --

PERRY: No, no.

MORGAN: -- I created for myself with this show.

PERRY: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. I --


PERRY: -- but -- but she does a great job. And so let me make that clear. She does a great job. She's in a smaller role.

And I think that the purpose and point in anything that I do is to uplift and cut -- inspire and encourage, as I said before. And I think that when people see the movie, they'll get it. They'll understand.

MORGAN: It wouldn't surprise me at all if she's agreed to that. She's a -- she's a smart cookie.

Let's take another break, come back and talk about another smart cookie, a fabulously talented one, Whitney Houston. You alluded to her earlier, a tragic loss. And I want to know your thoughts. You were a friend of hers and tried to help her and, clearly, like many other people, weren't successful.


MORGAN: Back now with my special guest, Tyler Perry. Tyler, it's been a fascinating experience (INAUDIBLE). You're a very honest, open book, even if you don't want to be.


MORGAN: I can see that you can't stop yourself being honest.

PERRY: -- I love everything. I don't want to be honest on everything.


PERRY: I don't want to share everything. I don't mind being honest. I don't want to share everything.

MORGAN: We touched earlier on Whitney Houston, who was a friend of yours. You have been quite candid about trying to help her. You rang her or felt compelled to ring her on the night that Michael Jackson died.


MORGAN: Because they were similar age, similar kind of problems. You realized she may be going through turmoil over that news. Tell me about that.

PERRY: It was -- I haven't talked about it publicly, actually. I'm surprised that you know that. How do you know that?

MORGAN: I know everything, Tyler.

PERRY: I called her that night. I had been trying to get her all day. I called her that night. And she had Donny Hathaway's "A Song for You" blasting in the background. I'm surprised she could hear me.

We talked for awhile. She was really broken up by his death. And I didn't know if she was thinking about herself, but I was trying very desperately to get her to let me come over to the house and just sit with her to make sure she was OK.

And Whitney, in true fashion, after me trying for about five, 10 different times -- she said listen, I'm a mother and I'm a woman and I'm single and you're not coming over to my house in the middle of the night -- in the way only she could.

But it's beyond tragic. And I was so disgusted -- I must tell you, I was so disgusted at the media and the way that they handled her death. It was -- it was so blatantly disrespectful. The paparazzi -- see, this is what I mean about fame, even in death, trying to get her -- just her body from the morgue to the plane.

MORGAN: You supplied the plane, didn't you?

PERRY: I did. I did. There was -- this was -- it was beyond awful. I tell you, there was -- we tried to send a hearse as a decoy. They found out we had the body in a van. And there were paparazzi 50 deep following the van.

I had to move the plane into the hangar, close the door, bring the van in. One person -- one of the hired drivers is trying to take pictures of them putting her body on the plane.

It was just beyond disrespectful for her family and everyone else. And I understand she was a superstar but she didn't deserve to be treated that way in the media toward the end. You know?

They asked me to come down to the Beverly Hilton and walking into that hotel room and seeing -- it was so bizarre. I'm thinking these people cannot know that she has died. There's a party going on. This can't be true. It can't be real. It's so surreal.

I go upstairs to the floor and her family's there. They're all in tears. And I'm in the room with them and the coroners and the police are three doors down from where we are.

And I'm looking at the water on the table as the family's breaking down. It's vibrating from the bass below. I just think what is this? What is this, that this woman's life is not worth a moment of silence?

So it was beyond hurtful in many ways.

MORGAN: Very sad, indeed.

You're a fascinating guy. You went through hell -- I'm not overstating it -- when you were young. I'm looking at you now, you seem a man of peace. But you may just be a good actor.

I know you're a good actor, because your new movie is out, "Alex Cross." Here's a clip

Of course, you're a good actor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Cross you're taking this personally.

PERRY: Yes, about as personal as you took running out of that building with your tail tucked between your legs.


MORGAN: Well "Alex Cross" is a terrific movie. It's -- it's -- it's very strange to see you in that kind of movie. I wasn't expecting it. I really enjoyed it. I think it's a -- the whole new thing. I can see the new James Bond, Tyler.

PERRY: No, you won't see as James Bond.

MORGAN: Why not?

PERRY: No, no, no.

MORGAN: The first black Bond?

PERRY: No, no, I --

MORGAN: Come on.

PERRY: Will Smith should be the first black Bond.

MORGAN: You reckon?

PERRY: Will Smith should be the first black Bond.

MORGAN: Why should it be him?

PERRY: Because -- because --

MORGAN: If you lose weight at the rate you're going, you'll be skinnier than Will Smith, no?

PERRY: No, no, no. I'm not -- I'm -- I think this is it, buddy. I'm not going to get any skinnier. I'll stick where -- I'll stick with Alex Cross.

MORGAN: A final question. It's one I ask a lot of people, but if you could relive one moment in your life before you die, and I had that power --


MORGAN: -- to give you, what would you choose?

PERRY: There is one moment I'll -- I'll -- and I'll probably regret it for my entire life. My mother was a -- on her deathbed. And she told me, she said, I just want it all to be over.

And I got so upset, I couldn't hear it. And I wish that I had listened to what she had to say, because I felt that in that moment, there was so much she wanted to share with me. And had I was -- had I been able to hold myself still and listen, I probably would have had a lot more of my life's questions answered.

MORGAN: That's a very poignant thing.


MORGAN: Tyler, it's been a real pleasure.

PERRY: Thank you.

MORGAN: Please come back again sooner than 20 months, or whatever it was, to take it -- it took me to get you. But it's been a real pleasure.

Best of luck with the movie.

PERRY: Thank you very much.

MORGAN: "Alex Cross," a terrific film.

Of course, look out for all your numerous projects in 2013, particularly your work at OWN with my friend Oprah.


MORGAN: Best of luck with that.

PERRY: Thank you very much.

MORGAN: Good to see you.

PERRY: And you, as well.

MORGAN: Tyler Perry, a wonderful guy.

Coming next, singing sensation Brandy on her return to music and the loss of Whitney Houston, her friend who mentored and inspired her.



BRANDY: You are my favorite contestant in this competition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you! I love you.

MORGAN: Change your hair. Change your dress. Change your shoes. And you will win this tournament.


MORGAN: And indeed, she did. That was fun times from "America's Got Talent" with Brandy, David Hasselhoff and myself having a blast doing the first season of that show in 2006.

I'm back with Brandy for the first time. I haven't seen you since 2006.

BRANDY: I know. It's good to see you.

MORGAN: You haven't changed a bit.

BRANDY: You haven't, either.

MORGAN: Don't lie.

BRANDY: Just a lot more successful. I love that.

MORGAN: What I love about that clip was I was right; that girl did win that year.

BRANDY: She did.

MORGAN: Bianca Ryan (ph), voice of an angel.

BRANDY: Amazing. You were right about her. She was in dress. It was a little mean.

MORGAN: I was all right.

BRANDY: But you were right. You were 99 percent right. I used to always tell you that.

MORGAN: How have you been?

BRANDY: I've been great. I've been great. Life has been amazing these last couple years. I'm back with new music, acting again.

So, it's all a fresh new start and I'm just loving it. I'm loving it all.

MORGAN: You had this sad thing. We were doing the show together, number one show on television that summer. Everyone was going crazy on "America's Got Talent" and then you were involved in this awful car crash here in Los Angeles, on the 405, and somebody died and you decided you couldn't continue on the show -- which I was really upset about because we had a great chemistry, and you were terrific on it. But that was a huge blow to you, that incident.

Tell me about it.

BRANDY: It was the most difficult experience I have ever been through. You don't wake up thinking that something like that would happen to you. It's like what you read about or hear about on the news, you know, but never would you think it would be your experience. And you know, it was one of the hardest times of my life, you know, and I just --

MORGAN: The worst thing from my point of view, somebody who really liked you and got to know you, is that there was a terrible sort of blame game going on.

BRANDY: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: In all of the headlines, that you had been on your BlackBerry, you've been doing this, I remember it all.

BRANDY: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: And it turns out all of that was complete nonsense.


MORGAN: You weren't found culpable of anything. It was one of those terrible accidents in life.

BRANDY: Yes, it was very hurtful, what people were saying, what the media was saying. But you know, I felt spiritually, it was a test of my strength, and it revealed my strength to me. It took a while because I went through -- it was really tough, mentally, physically, spiritually, but I got through it. MORGAN: Were there times when you thought, I'm going to have to pack this in, this celebrity game? Because if you had just been a regular person involved in that accident, nothing would have happened as a result of it, because you were so famous in this big show, and a huge singing star, it was just celebrity fodder --

BRANDY: I know.

MORGAN: -- for years, and it really dragged you down, didn't it?

BRANDY: It really did. And being a celebrity or being in the limelight, it comes with all of that. But, you know, what I have to remember as I go forward in my life is that the gift that I was given by God, I have to share that with the people that truly love me and the people that truly can see me. That's what it's about.

And all the rest is -- whatever.


MORGAN: You write these sleeve notes in your album "Two Eleven", which we'll talk about in a moment.


MORGAN: But you pay tribute to your mom and dad. I imagine they were terrific to you through that period.

BRANDY: Oh, yes.

MORGAN: Because that's when family is most important, indeed, you know, Ray J, your brother and so on.

BRANDY: My mom, especially, of course, my brother and my dad. Yes, my brother, my dad. My mom, she's like -- she's like my rock. She's my backbone. She really holds me down with everything.

MORGAN: What did she say to you? When times were really tough, when you were going through that hellish period, maybe doubting if you'd ever come back from it, what did you mother say to you?

BRANDY: She told me to remember who I am. Remember what I think about myself, and remember just what she's taught me. And not worry about what the other people think.

And I stayed away from what everybody else thought. I could feel that things were happening and things were being said and things were going on, but I stuck by my mom, I stuck by my family.

MORGAN: The most incredible thing about you, Brandy, is that you're 33 years old.

BRANDY: Don't be telling people my age, Piers.

MORGAN: How can you be 33? You have been in the business 18 years. BRANDY: Yes.

MORGAN: You don't even look 18.


MORGAN: You have weathered like a fine Chateux Latore (ph) '61.

BRANDY: Thank you. Thank you very much.


BRANDY: Thank you. I'm just trying to keep it --

MORGAN: But do you ever stop and think wow, I'm still only 33 and yet I've had this 18-year career?

BRANDY: It's pretty unbelievable.

MORGAN: Television, music, everything.

BRANDY: Yes. It's pretty unbelievable, because I started at 15 years old. And everything just started happening at that age and it continued. And, you know, now, I'm coming back with all of this new stuff.

And it feels new again. But I definitely know that I've been around for awhile. And it's amazing. I'm very grateful and thankful for it.

MORGAN: You also have a baby girl.

BRANDY: I do. She's 10 years old.

MORGAN: She's 10 years old.

BRANDY: She's 10.

MORGAN: What's being a mother like?

BRANDY: Oh my God. It keeps you on your toes, that's for sure. Everything is led by example. Like you have to teach by what you do.

So, I definitely have to stay on it or she'll be looking at me like mom, but you did it, so why are you telling me, you know?

So, she's amazing. She's definitely my star for sure.

MORGAN: We're going to take a break and come back and talk about the album, "Two Eleven". It's a poignant title, because it's your birthday and it's also the day that Whitney, your great friend, died. I want to talk to you about that.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: The new single, "Wildest Dreams," from Brandy's latest album, "Two Eleven." And I'm back with Brandy now.

You've got a pair of pies on you, don't you? Wow, I'd forgotten. But I'm going to listen to this on the way home tonight.

Let's talk about "Two Eleven". It's a very special title, because it is your birthday, but it's also the date of Whitney Houston's death.

I was in Los Angeles that day. I came here and co-anchored the news all night long with a really heavy heart because it was one of those desperately sad things to have happened in the business that I can remember.

Your relationship was fascinating to me. You were 9 years old when you sneaked in to see your first ever concert, a Whitney concert.


MORGAN: You starred with her in the 1997 movie "Cinderella," where she played your fairy godmother. Your brother Ray was actually dating her at the time.

BRANDY: They were really close friends. Yes.

MORGAN: I realize that's how you want to characterize it.


MORGAN: And you were one of the last people to see her alive. So an incredible journey you went on with Whitney Houston. Tell me about it.

BRANDY: Wow. I mean, from the very first time I saw her, I was -- I was completely blown away. To see her music, her voice, everything about her just touched my spirit in ways that no other singer could.

And, you know, working with her and just sharing moments with her were just unforgettable. And you know, one of the last things that we talked about was me going forward and what I had to do in terms of my connection with my fans and music.

And she just told me, you know, you have to be yourself, because when you are yourself, that's who people will fall in love with. And --

MORGAN: Was she herself towards the end, do you think? Or had she just got lost in the maelstrom of fame and abuse and all the rest of it?

BRANDY: One of the things that I can't -- I can't put my mind around is where she really was because, you know, at the end of her life, I wasn't there. I wasn't around. You know, I didn't talk to her as much, which is one of the reasons why it was so hard for me to get over her passing, is because I felt like I wasn't there enough for her at the end of her life.

And I have no clue where she was mentally or spiritually. I don't know.

MORGAN: What many of her friends told me at the time -- and I interviewed many of them on this show -- was that you couldn't underestimate how big a blow it was to her to lose the voice, the power that she had, the inability in stage shows to hit the big notes anymore for "I Will Always Love You" and so on.

As somebody who still can, do you understand what that feeling must be like?

BRANDY: Oh, my God. I understand what that feels like. I don't understand to that degree, but I understand, you know, because I feel like when I don't have my instrument, I don't really have -- I don't really have me.

MORGAN: It is what you're about.

BRANDY: Yes, it's who -- it's almost who you are. You know, of course, there's more to you than your voice, but that's what you use to share. That's what you use to give. It's your purpose. It's what you were born to do.

MORGAN: And to lose that must be the worst thing.

BRANDY: Yes, it probably drove her insane. It probably drove her insane.

MORGAN: Where were you when you heard the news? How did you hear it?

BRANDY: I was actually in the same hotel that she passed in.

MORGAN: At the Beverly Hilton?

BRANDY: Yes. And we were all getting ready for the Clive Grammy Party. And I was in my room getting ready. But the strange thing is right before I started to get ready, there was this guy and a paramedics guy in the elevator. And they were like, hurry up, hurry up, she's not breathing. She's not breathing.

And later on to find out they were talking about Whitney, I was like, whoa, like this is crazy. And my mom calls me and tells me that she passed. And I couldn't believe it. I was like, no way, you know? And I just -- I fell to the floor in tears and had been crying for weeks and months after that.

MORGAN: Really? It hit you that bad?

BRANDY: It hit me -- it just hit me in ways I can't even explain.

MORGAN: How is Ray doing, because he was very close to her? BRANDY: Ray has been going through it, you know? He really has been going through it. But, you know, every time we go through something, we always stick to who we are as family. And you know, so we've been there for him. But he's been silent about everything and, you know, just taking his time with it.

MORGAN: Very tough thing to deal with.

BRANDY: Yes, very tough thing to deal with.

MORGAN: She would have been very proud of you, I think. Especially the way you've rebuilt your life and your career now. Things couldn't be going better for you. Are you excited about having a new album out now, with everything that you've been through in the last 10 years?

BRANDY: I am. I'm very excited because this new album is music that I truly believe in. I truly love the music that I'm singing and love the producers and the writers that I've worked with on this album. And I'm just so happy to go forward and share it, and just talk about it and sing about it.

And so, it's a great, great time for me.

MORGAN: What do you feel? When you sing, what do you feel?

BRANDY: I feel everything. I feel all the emotions that's inside of me. I feel -- especially when I'm singing in front of people, I feel their emotions when they are giving me that love, that I need to give them back the love.

And, you know, it's just a lot. It's a lot. It's the best way I can express myself. It's therapeutic music.

MORGAN: And how's your love life?

BRANDY: Oh, my love life is great.

MORGAN: You're looking a bit starry-eyed to me.

BRANDY: I do. He's a great man on he loves me for me.

Oh, there he is. He's cute. And he loves my daughter. My family loves him.

MORGAN: Where did you meet?

BRANDY: We met at a studio, at a studio. He was managing a writer that I was working with at the time on I was like, oh, he is cute.

MORGAN: On this is the one you think?

BRANDY: I think so. I think so, yes. I do.

MORGAN: It's fantastic. It so good to catch up with you. BRANDY: That's it?

MORGAN: That's it.


MORGAN: Is there anything else you want to say?

BRANDY: Let me see --

MORGAN: Want to talk about world affairs?

BRANDY: No, we covered everything. We got everything.


MORGAN: Brandy, it's called "Two Eleven". It's a fantastic album. It's great to see you again.

BRANDY: Thank you so much.

MORGAN: It's been too long. Let's catch up again soon.

BRANDY: Please.

MORGAN: Lovely to see you.

BRANDY: Me, too.