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‘Sisters from different worlds’: Agnes Brown joins Tyler Perry’s Madea in new comedy made for Netflix


Brendan O’Carroll as Agnes Brown in new Netflix comedy ‘A Madea Homecoming’ with Tyler Perry, which airs on February 25

Brendan O’Carroll as Agnes Brown in new Netflix comedy ‘A Madea Homecoming’ with Tyler Perry, which airs on February 25

Brendan O’Carroll as Agnes Brown in new Netflix comedy ‘A Madea Homecoming’ with Tyler Perry, which airs on February 25

America, watch out – Agnes Brown is coming to get you. TV star Brendan O’Carroll has said it was “awe-inspiring” to join forces with his comedic counterpart across the water, Tyler Perry, in a new movie for Netflix featuring Mrs Brown called A Madea Homecoming.

“It is very humbling,” he told the Irish Independent. “When you look at the career that Tyler has had, it’s been a meteoric rise, he doesn’t stop. But I know how hard he has had to work to get there. So to see that express train coming and be on it and a part of it was amazing.”

A huge star in the US, Perry’s previous outings have banked more than €600m, thanks to his portrayal of larger-than-life matriarch Madea, a character inspired by his mother and aunt.

A gun-toting granny who shoots from the hip and doesn’t hold back when it comes to her family, Madea began life on the stage before the 2005 hit movie Diary of a Mad Black Woman which took in €50m.

Comparisons with O’Carroll’s character were inevitable and it was while working on a 2016 movie that director Gerard Barrett showed Perry clips of Agnes Brown. He said he felt they were like “sisters from different worlds” and felt compelled to contact the Finglas funnyman about a cross-over project.

“I reached out and called Brendan up and we had a conversation and realised this was something special and we had to figure it out. It took about five years but we finally managed to pull it off. This project came along and we decided to do it together,” said Perry.

It was during lockdown that the pair filmed A Madea Homecoming at Tyler Perry’s sprawling studio in Atlanta, which O’Carroll said was “about the size of Finglas” and said the filming had a very quick turn-around.

The 11th instalment in the Madea franchise, the plot centres around Madea’s great-grandson’s college graduation and sees Agnes Brown playing the part of his friend’s Irish relative.

O’Carroll’s wife Jenny Gibney will also feature in the movie which hits the streaming giant on February 25. O’Carroll said that it was a “joy” to film with Perry and his team and he hopes it will bring the award-winning franchise of Mrs Brown’s Boys to another level.

“It will certainly make a big difference for Mrs Brown to be seen on Netflix. This is my first time to work with them and they’re wonderful people to work with and very helpful on the creative end of things. And they pay really well too,” he said.

“It’s very exciting to know that we’re going to touch different parts of the world. We are very lucky that the Mrs Brown’s Boys franchise has done very well for us globally but it’s going to be even bigger now. Everywhere from Jamaica to Malawi is going to be seeing this. And that is quite awe-inspiring.

“What Tyler writes is really, really funny and people need to see it everywhere because people need that laughter right now.”

Perry said that he “got his humour right away” and he reminds him a lot of the late Hollywood star Robin Williams.

“It was non-stop laughter,” Perry said. “He does not stop. When Robin’s on a roll with something and he’s got lines coming in his head, he’s dropping bombs left and right.

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“That was the same way with me working with Brendan, it’s constant.

“I wish I’d had more time to sit in the scenes and enjoy what I was experiencing with him but we were moving so fast. It was really great.”

As for the message that he hopes viewers will take away from his new movie, it’s for people to realise that “it’s OK to laugh again and accept people for who they are”.

“We can’t get anywhere unless we’re listening to each other.

“We can be angry about things but if nobody is having a conversation then nothing’s going to change.”

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