A successful, wealthy businessman, Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) has always done what’s expected of him, whether it’s assuming the helm of his father’s company, tolerating his brother’s misbehaviour at the office or planning to marry his beautiful but restless fiancée, Natalie (Gabrielle Union). But Wesley is jolted out of his predictable routine when he meets Lindsey (Thandie Newton), a down-on-her-luck single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. When he offers to help her get back on her feet, the chance encounter with someone so far outside his usual circle ignites something in Wesley. This one good deed may finally spark his courage to exchange the life that’s expected of him for the life he’s always really wanted. ‘Good Deeds’ is written, produced and directed by Tyler Perry, and stars Perry, Thandie Newton, Brian White, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy, Eddie Cibrian, Jordenn Thompson, Beverly Johnson, Phylicia Rashad, and Gabrielle Union. The film is set for release Febuary 24th in the US.

What inspired you to write this film, and in particular the role you play, Wesley Deeds?

Tyler Perry: What inspired me to write the role is that I’ve been in reflection these last two years, of thinking how grateful I am living the life that I want to live. I started to think how miserable I would be if I was in some sort of job, or if I was doing things that people wanted me to do, rather than something I wanted to do. That’s really where the idea or the concept came about for Wesley Deeds and the film ‘Good Deeds.’ Living the life I live now, then also coming from where I came from, struggling, I understood Thandie’s character very clearly as well. So it was a pretty easy write for me, because I understand both sides of it.

Was there any particular challenges you found in playing Wesley?

Tyler Perry: I think the challenges in playing Wesley Deeds was, it’s a simple one, I never had nothing to hide behind, in that I had no costume. It’s so much easier for me having a costume (laughs), give me a costume, let me play an old man, let me play Madea, give me something to hide behind. This guy, Wesley Deeds, he’s very close to who I am as a person, so to be that exposed wasn’t very easy. It’s a very different side of myself I’m letting people see (laughs).

You put together an ensemble cast for ’Good Deeds’, some of whom you’ve worked with before in Thandie Newton, Brian White, Phylicia Rashad, and Gabrielle Union. Then also you’ve got a number of people you haven’t worked with previously. What dynamic does that add to the filming process?

Tyler Perry: What’s great about working with Thandie Newton, Brian White, Phylicia Rashad, and Gabrielle Union, in having worked with them before, it makes it a lot easier, because when you come to work you know exactly what you’re getting. They’re all such professionals, they come and they bring everything that they have and leave it there on tape. It was fantastic, I would love to work with them again! Then working with the people I haven’t worked with before, it gives me a different kind of challenge, it brings a different kind of energy in. Once you put all of these energies in the movie, you get this great big melting pot of wonderfulness that turns up in the film.

This film says a lot about following your own dreams, second chances, about courage. What do you hope people take away from ‘Good Deeds’?

Tyler Perry: What I’m hoping that people will take from ‘Good Deeds’ is living your own life, living your own freedom, living your own truth. Life is short, you only get one shot at it so live it to the fullest and the best you can. The sense of finding yourself. You know, you can live your life for someone else, you can live your life for your parents, you can live your life through the eyes of society, and never be happy. Or you can live your truth, except your truth, except what’s gonna makes you happy, and then go for it with all your heart.