A who’s who of Hollywood stars helped Tyler Perry christen his new film studio in Atlanta.
Attendees including Halle Berry, Chris Tucker, Oprah Winfrey, and Cicely Tyson, toasted Perry Saturday evening at the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios.
Also attending were Spike Lee, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Gladys Knight, Monica, Jenifer Lewis, Tika Sumpter, Iyanla Vanzant, Tamron Hall, Gayle King and many more.
“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,” Perry told The Associated Press at the event.
The entertainment mogul’s sprawling 330-acre studio cost a reported $250 million to build, and sits on property once used as a Confederate training ground during the Civil War.
The studio features twelve sound stages, with each named after acclaimed black actors and actresses such as Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Diahann Carroll, and Denzel Washington.
The facility is said to be the only major film studio in the country owned by an African American. Even more impressive, Perry was once homeless and is now one of the most influential people in entertainment.
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Winfrey said the studio is a symbol of Perry’s importance in the TV and film industries.
“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,” she told AP.
Perry is also a partner in the new BET+ streaming service. The platform, which is a joint venture between Viacom-owned BET and the mogul, launched last month.
The actor, producer, and director was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Oct. 1.