Don’t mind Mr. Brown’s schizophrenic sense of style or indecipherable ebonics, ‘cause that’s the way the Good Lord intended him to be in all his off-color glory. In fact, it’s Brown’s zany antics that endeared him to many and Tyler Perry owes it all to David Mann. A former member of Kirk Franklin’s The Family, Mann returns to share his special brand of drama with the world and bank screentime with his wife, Tamala Mann, who plays his and Madea’s love-child daughter in the gut-busting tale of redemption, “Madea Goes to Jail.” The Texas native and father opened up about how difficult it was to maintain his composure during filming and proposing to Madea.
ESSENCE.COM: As Mr. Brown, you go toe-to-toe with Madea, the mother of your child. How was your reunion on the silver screen?
DAVID MANN: It was fun! Tyler was doing Madea stuff that he knew was going to make me laugh. I just couldn’t hold it together most of the time. I know I wasted a lot of film because I was just cracking up. If I made eye contact with him I was going to lose it and I did. That’s why we always have so much extra stuff for the behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD. I messed up a lot of film for this movie because I couldn’t stop laughing. Funny is funny and you can’t get used to it.
ESSENCE.COM: Word on the street is that this is the last we’ll see of Madea. Is it true she’s in jail without the bail and won’t you miss her?
MANN: I wouldn’t count on it. Madea is my baby mama and she brings too much drama, so I suppose I would miss her in my own way. Who knows Mr. Brown might ask Madea to marry him. Then the sequel might be “Madea’s Big Fat Black Wedding.” (Laughs). Me and Madea will always be connected because she spiked my punch in high school and didn’t tell me we had a child until my daughter, Cora (Tamala Mann), was nearly 40 years old. Back in high school Madea didn’t look quite as manly. Age has hardened her and we have to check her throat because Madea has an Adam’s apple.
ESSENCE.COM: (Laughs) It’s interesting that you two hooked up and have a daughter. How much of Cora’s personality is you versus Madea?
MANN: She’s her daddy’s child because she is spiritual and her dad took her to church and she gets her temper from her mom. Yes, she can be sweet and quiet and she’ll stop and pray for you, then shoot you with the pistol she’s packing! (Laughs.) She’s the reason that Mr. Brown and Madea don’t kill each other.