Tyler Perry confessed he was "creeped out" after learning the woman he cast for a series was the same woman he reprimanded for using a billboard to attract his attention.
A few months back, a woman named Racquel Bailey made headlines after she used a billboard to catch Tyler Perry’s attention.
Tyler Perry at a panel discussion during the Winter TCA Tour in Pasadena in January 2016. | Photo: Getty Images
Perry did take notice but not in the way she hoped he would. He tweeted a photo of her billboard and used it as an example to discourage other aspirants from doing what she did.
"...unknowingly, Perry invited Bailey for an audition and eventually cast her for a role in a series."
Tyler Perry at the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta this month. | Photo: Getty Images
“This is not the way to get my attention if you’re looking for a role in one of my shows,” the owner of Tyler Perry Studios advised. “Please DON’T DO THIS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!!...PLEASE STOP! To audition is FREE!! I’m sure you can use that money for a better purpose,” he added.
Perry further stated that he appreciated Bailey’s effort but encouraged her to simply come in and audition because it was free. He reiterated that her stunt was “not the way to work for me” but didn’t doubt that Bailey would make it one day.
"She got the job and after she gets the job, they tell me, ‘Oh, that’s the girl from the billboard!’ I go, ‘What?"
You would think that the story would end with Bailey losing a shot at a role in one of Perry’s projects due to what she did. But that’s far from what happened.
In fact, unknowingly, Perry invited Bailey for an audition and eventually cast her for a role in a series. But after learning she was the woman on the billboard, he realized how “scary as hell” that was.
Perry opened up during his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live about the coincidence that he didn’t see coming.
“That was scary as hell. I was really creeped out about it,” he confessed.
“She auditioned. I didn’t even know it was her because I had separated the two in my mind. She got the job and after she gets the job, they tell me, ‘Oh, that’s the girl from the billboard!’ I go, ‘What? Why didn’t somebody tell me?'”
In hindsight, Perry said that it was a good thing that Bailey proved to be a capable actress in spite of her billboard stunt.
“It’s good that she’s good, because if you put up a billboard and you suck, it’s not going to work.”
We hate to think what would have happened if Perry knew who Bailey actually was before she auditioned. But now that she sealed a role, we do look forward to her new series, “Sistas” about four black women dating in Atlanta. The show premieres this month on BET.