And Tyler Perry, best known for his character of overweight sassy grandmother Madea in films such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea’s Family Reunion, dropped 30 pounds in preparation for the film.
The 43-year-old revealed on The Today Show on Wednesday that he lost the weight with the aid of a form of Israeli martial arts called Krav Maga.
Speaking to Savannah Guthrie, he said: ‘When I started doing the movie, I did Krav Maga, that’s kind of like UFC, I really got into it, dropping a lot of weight,’ he said.
‘It’s Israeli fighting, mixed martial arts, really great, but it’s a kick a** work out.’
The actor also spoke about his excitement taking on the role of Cross, who was previously portrayed by Morgan Freeman in Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider.
‘It was super exciting. This character has such an arc. I had a chance to do a lot of different things, a lot of drama and fun and family, and also a lot of action, so it was great,’ he said.
Tyler, who is also a hugely successful writer, director and producer, said starring in the film, titled Alex Cross, was a good vacation from being behind the lens.
‘(It was) a good vacation. I’m a good leader, but also a follower, and I let the Director sit back and do his thing so it was really great.’
The star also discussed taking the role over from Freeman.
‘I looked at it as the arc of the character. One thing I looked at is Morgan Freeman. He played god in the movie,’ he explained. ‘You don’t ever go behind god in a movie, but once I realized I have to do the best Tyler Perry playing Alex Cross, it worked out all right and I let go.’
In the latest issue of Men’s Health, Perry shows off his slimmed down form on the front cover.
In an interview with the magazine, the actor says that he feels more confident with his fitter form.
‘I feel it’s OK to be thought of as sexy,’ he says.
As well as Krav Maga, Perry also got into shape with cardiovascular workouts, body-weight moves and cable work with a trainer.
He also indulged in a healthy diet consisting of egg whites, ground turkey chili and grilled chicken breasts
‘All my life I’ve tried to hide my height. I was taller than everybody else and stood out, so I would slouch and try to hide it,’ he said.
‘But what I’ve been able to do with my body, I’m owning it. I’m standing up when I walk into a room.’