Prime Video has released the trailer for Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Storya documentary that has been in the works for almost ten years.
The nearly three-minute trailer (below) chronicles Perry’s rule-breaking rise to Hollywood fame alongside a sometimes difficult personal life. This includes that he had a poor upbringing, resulting in an estranged relationship with his father, and that in his adulthood he watched his mother ‘slowly die’.
“He had some horrific experiences that ultimately led to the characters he created and the imagination he had,” a voice says in the trailer.
One of Perry’s friends talks about how the duo was so broke that they shared burgers during discussions about his “big dreams,” while other talking heads delved deeper into the challenges he faced entering Hollywood — a space where he knew “every line” violated’.
“A studio executive told him, black people don’t go to the movies,” another voice added. “They were wrong on every count when it came to Tyler.”
“All these people told me what I would never be. No one said what I could be,” Perry is heard saying before defending himself against a chorus of critics. “What I’m not going to do is change, because some critics think it’s not art.”
The film – whose title is a nod to Perry’s mother – shows how the writer, actor, filmmaker, studio head and media mogul has used entertainment to heal childhood trauma and “transform his pain into promise.” A portrait of a visionary and innovator, Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story offers a ‘poignant but faithful’ look at his journey in an industry that did not always make room for him.
The documentary is directed by Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz, and produced by Bekele, Jasmine K. White and Asante White.
“Don’t play him down,” Oprah warns in the trailer, as Gayle King notes, “The talent and power of Tyler Perry was undeniable.”
Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story releases on Prime Video November 17.