Brandon Black has opened up about portraying the first LGBTQ+ character in the Madea franchise.
If you’re a fan of Tyler Perry, chances are you are familiar with the hilarious character of Madea Simmons.
Since making her debut in 1999, the no-nonsense personality has delivered comedic and meaningful stories to viewers worldwide.
However, after 11 plays and 12 theatrical movies, the expansive Madea Cinematic Universe has never featured an out gay character – until now.
In Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming, Black plays recent college graduate Tim Marshall– who also happens to be the great-grandson to the titular character.
Throughout the film, Tim navigates coming out to Madea and his other extended family, who each have larger-than-life personalities.
In the end, the character shared a heartfelt moment with his family – who lovingly accepted his sexuality.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Black revealed that he had no idea Tim was the first gay character in the Madea franchise.
“I didn’t know that this was the first, it was still a big deal for me because it was my first movie,” he said.
“And when I found out I was the first gay character in a Madea movie, I thought, ‘Well, I think I’m qualified for the job.’ I think I’ve done the research. I was really happy to get it.”
Just like his character, Black also identifies as a gay man.
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He went on to say that he was excited that viewers would be introduced to a gay Black character that was “sure of himself.”
“He’s still warry about his family, but this is someone who’s not on the down-low, sneaking around,” he explained. “This person knows who they are. It’s just the last reveal to their family.”
The 33-year-old then discussed the similarities between his coming out process and Tim’s.
“I told my family last, similar to how Tim’s best friend knew, but his family didn’t know – or he thought that they didn’t know,” he revealed.
“When I moved to L.A., I started over. I told myself when I move to Los Angeles, I will be a gay person who has moved to Los Angeles.”
He went on to say that after struggling to open up to his family, he took his mother out for mimosas and drunkenly came out to her.
“And then my mom got her mom drunk on endless mimosas and told her. And it worked out,” he added.
Towards the end of the piece, Black expressed his hopes regarding the viewers’ reaction to his character.
“Tim is the eye of a storm of crazy-ass family members, so I hope, straight or gay, you see yourself in Tim,” he said.
“I hope straight people see that this is just another dude or whatever, and for gay people, I hope that they see that owning yourself can pay off.”
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Homecoming is now available to stream on Netflix.