Following last weekend’s red-carpet screening of “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,” writer/director Tyler Perry welcomed invited guests to his home for a private party. Somehow we made the list. No photos were allowed, so we’ll just have to tell you about it.
Perry stood at the door and personally welcomed every person who arrived. The eclectic guest list included stars of “Temptation” — Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, Ella Joyce and Renée Taylor among them — along with “Real Housewives” NeNe Leakes and Kandi Burruss, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, local media personalities including WXIA’s Karyn Greer and Evelyn Mims and CBS Atlanta’s JaQuitta Williams, and Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. Kim Kardashian, who appeared in a minor but headline-grabbing role in “Temptation,” and her beau Kanye West, who showed up as a surprise, put in an appearance as well.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle was there with some staff members; some of the remarks Perry made right before the screening appeared aimed squarely at the state’s lawmakers.
“I am committed to making sure these tax credits become permanent in the state of Georgia,” he said, referring to the state’s film-friendly tax policy first enacted in 2008. Since then, Atlanta has lured a steady surge of big- and small-screen projects.
Perry’s home, a 30,000-square-foot French provincial mansion perched atop a 17-acre tract off Paces Ferry Road along the Chattahoochee River, is enormous yet somehow cozy and understated, despite impressive artwork and signature decorative elements like a huge chandelier in the main area of the house.
In almost every room, there are framed photos of him with famous friends including President Barack Obama, Janet Jackson, Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey and numerous photos of his late mother, Maxine Perry.
Perry’s study and two-story library are loaded with books: handsome, leather-bound classics, copies of his own books and Bibles and inspirational books.
Guests made themselves comfortable in various seating areas both indoors and out. The sweeping terrace along the back of the house, overlooking tennis courts and pool, offered an incredible view of the night sky. The downstairs level, where curved archways and lower ceilings give a sort of catacomb/wine cellar look, includes a huge fitness room where Perry presumably maintains his buff physique.
Throughout the evening, Perry played the role of genial host. (He really should write a book on entertaining sometime, maybe co-authored with A Legendary Event’s Tony Conway, who presided over things as he usually does when Perry entertains.)
“I want to tell you guys how much I love and appreciate all your hard work,” Perry said at the screening. “I want to say thank you.”