At the world premiere of Tyler Perry's newest project "The Single Moms Club" the film's stars were eager to discuss their personal connections to the movie's message about the challenges faced by single mothers.
Perry, who helmed, penned, produced and stars in the dramedy, was joined by several members of his cast, including Nia Long, Amy Smart, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ryan Eggold, Cocoa Brown, Terry Crews, William Levy and Zulay Henao for the March 10 premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood.
Perry credited the support of those around him as he discussed how he juggled so many responsibilities while making this movie.
"I have a really good team who held all this together for me, so it's all about the team," Perry said. "If you've got a good team, you can manage a lot of things."
Perry also cited Jared Leto's Oscars speech, in which he thanked his mother, as an example of the importance of honoring the lives of single moms.
"I was sitting behind her (at the Oscars) and (could) see the emotion of her being a single mom," Perry said. "I just think that it's about them being celebrated, so it's pretty exciting."
Brown said her personal life mirrored many of the things her character, Lytia, faces as a single mom.
"I became a single mother while we were filming. I was going through a separation," Brown explained. "This movie has been very therapeutic to me, and the village that I created with my castmates."
Levy said he is glad that "Single Moms Club" marks his U.S. film debut since he was raised by a single mother in his native Cuba. He called working on the film "a dream come true" and said he is already busy shooting scenes for his next movie role in Peter Billingsley's "Term Life."
"It's an action movie, which I love doing," Levy said. "I'm having a lot of fun playing the bad guy."
The stars also had plenty to say about working with Perry, who encouraged his actors to be creative and organic during their scenes rather than adhering strictly to his script.
"(Tyler) let us improvise. He's not married to the words," McLendon-Covey said. "If you've got a better way to say it, definitely do that."
Crews, who stood out on the carpet in a bright red suit, said this was the first film since "White Chicks" in which he felt free to just "roll with it."
"Tyler gets comedy. He gets it, he knows what it's about," Crews said. "I've been waiting to get into a Tyler Perry movie for years and I used to watch all of them get done and I'm so happy to be able to do this."
Before the screening, Perry took a few moments to thank his entire cast and crew and dedicated the film to his aunt, who was a single mother.
Guests later migrated to the Emerson Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. for the after-party, where McLendon-Covey and Smart hit the dance floor while Crews and Brown posed for photos. Partygoers also hit up the photo booth as Perry, Levy and Eggold caught up to congratulate each other and celebrate their film.
Other guests included R&B singer-songwriter Macy Gray, Smart's husband Carter Oosterhouse, "Pretty Little Liars" actress Tammin Sursok and Jenifer Lewis.
Lionsgate and the Tyler Perry Studios' "The Single Moms Club" bows March 14.
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