Coming out this week from Lionsgate is Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, which will be released on March 1, 2019. This is the eighth film in the franchise and will be the final film in which Perry will play the Madea character.
In Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, a joyous family reunion turns into a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia and unexpectedly plan a funeral, which threatens to reveal sordid family secrets.
The cast include Courtney Burrell, Tyler Perry, Patrice Lovely, Cassi Davis, Ciera Payton, Rome Flynn, Khaneshia ‘KJ’ Smith, Aeriél Miranda, David Otunga, Joel Rush, Selena Anduze, Quin Walters, David Dunston, Jen Harper, Shaun McMillan, Renah Gallagher, Ary Katz, Chandra Currelley-Young, Odin Gomez, & Bobby Akers.
For Quin Walters, who plays family friend Renee, this is a big role for the Chicago native. Best known for her recurring role as Gia on Perry’s OWN drama series The Haves and The Have Nots, Walters also had guest spots on a number of TV series and executive produced the web series The Q & A Show.
Blackfilm.com caught up with Walters as she spoke about her experience working on A Madea Family Funeral and working with Mr. Perry.
How did the role come about for you?
Quin Walters: I auditioned for the role. Got the part. Screamed. Did a cartwheel and called my family. It was an exciting time. Two days into the shoot, Mr. Perry had asked me if I was on a show already because he had something else for me in mind. I didn’t know what it could be. Didn’t ask any questions. He’s the man. I just went with that and then he called me. He was talking to Oprah about me and trying to see if there could be a role for me somewhere on something. I still didn’t know what. I just thought that was amazing and I thanked him for doing this. I asked him why he was doing this and he said “Sometimes actors need a little push, and I just wanted to give you a little push. You’re a phenomenal actress and where ever I can help I will.” I just teared up. That’s the kind of person he is. He sees the good in people. He sees the talent in people. He’s brought up so many talented people. Even people who are already established, he can bring them back into the limelight and add to their careers and give them projects that maybe no one had given them the opportunity to work on. He did that.
Two weeks later, I get a call from my agent saying that I have been booked on “The Haves and the Have Nots.” So he just brought me straight to the role because basically I had already auditioned for him. He trusted me enough and I thought that was humbling. He trusted me enough to bring me aboard. It was just for four episodes in the beginning, and four turned into 8 and 8 turned into 12 and that turned into 16; and finally to 20 episodes I ended up shooting. It was amazing and fast. Mr. Perry works fast, but what I always tell people when asked, “What was it like working with him, I always say that I got my PHD in film working with him. I had already got a BFA, but I feel like I got a honorary PHD in film because when you show up on set with him, it’s go time. You should have all of your choices made. You should studied your character. You should be ready to go. That’s standard. That’s standard if you’re an actor.
You have to do your background work. You have to do your research and break down your character anyway, but it was like to the 10th power. You have to really be secure as an artist in the decisions that you’re making and be ready to show that. It was just that extra push to be great, to be better, to work harder, and stay up a little bit later with the character before the shoot the next day. He is amazing. He is hilarious. Watching him work is something I have never seen before. You see him. He’s in character. He’s doing Madea He’s doing Heathrow and then the next minute he’s instantly the director, the DP and director the lights and the cameras and telling us what to do, and it’s like, “Wow!”, it’s a sight to see. His brain can compartmentalize all these different hats and he’s sharp at all these different roles. It’s really amazing to see that. I have so much respect for that man.
What’s the role you play in the film?
Quin Walters: My character is named Renee and she is a longtime friend of the family, the Madea family. I’m with the family and there are having a reunion and then all of a sudden, there is a death in the family. We know that because of the title of the film. As the family is getting ready for this funeral, all of these dark secrets start to come out. Renee is intertwined in all of these secrets and skeletons in the closet. That’s all I can say without giving it away.
Can you relate to Renee or any of the other characters in the film?
Quin Walters: I do not relate to Renee. Let me make that very clear. After the audience sees the movie, they will understand. However, I think I can relate to the Carol character, or even the Sylvia character, and the momma. I’m from Chicago. I’m from a large family. I can relate to those types of women. Tyler has the ability to make all those characters relatable and I think everyone can find someone in the movie that they can relate and if they can’t, they know someone who is like Uncle Heathrow, just hilarious and off the chain with everything he says. His best friends are Bam and Hattie, who are hilarious too. I love them.
How does it feel knowing you’re in the last Madea film?
Quin Walters: It’s bittersweet. You automatically think that there will be another one, and another one, and there’s not. I’m proud to say that I’m in the last one and hopefully it’s very memorable.
Have you seen the previous Madea films?
Quin Walters: I have and I’m sure most people have seen a Madea movie. Tyler Perry’s hilarious.
This film has a big ensemble with a lot of new faces. Some are familiar from other projects that they have done. What was it like working with the cast and is there a friendship after the production had wrapped?
Quin Walters: You can go on my Instagram and see that we’re all friends. Before the first day of shooting, we all met in the hotel lobby and we all got acquainted. We all read the script twice and did a mini rehearsal for ourselves. We exchanged numbers and it was just on from then. We laughed so hard every day. We sang songs. We made videos. We went to dinner. We call each up. We support each other in the projects we see the others doing. It is a legit family. I love them.
How much a grind is it getting work?
Quin Walters: It’s definitely a grind. I definitely have a bug to go after more work. This is not my first rodeo. This is my first supporting role in a major motion picture but I have had leading roles in independent films and had supporting roles in other projects and TV roles as well. Now, this whole buzz and being part of a cast that is so supportive and loving and having the backing of Tyler Perry, it’s energizing. It makes you want to run out and do more. I pray that more comes to me. Different roles and different projects. The grind out here as a female, as a Black female in Hollywood is a hustle. I always tell people that there is no competition. When you break it down, there is only one you. Unless you have a twin, no one is identical.
Whatever you bring to the table is so unique. It can’t be duplicated, so how is anyone standing next to you your competition. Competition is when you’re doing the exact same thing at the exact same time and then who’s better in a race. No one has my voice. No one has my stature. No one has my character traits. You take all of that into account and it gives you power. It gives you strength to continue. If you have true passion, you’ll make it through. The passion overrides the grind.
What’s a good reason to see A Madea Family Funeral?
Quin Walters: The comedy. It’s a feel good movie, but the comedy is off the charts. It’s a riot. Tyler Perry is a genius when it comes to his improv. There are also more surprises in the film as well.