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‘He’s so inspiring’: Geoffrey Owens dishes about working with Tyler Perry

A few weeks after landing a job on one of Tyler Perry’s projects, Geoffrey Owens is spilling the beans about his time with the filmmaker. 

» RELATED: Tyler Perry follows through! Geoffrey Owens will recur on OWN’s ‘The Haves and the Have Nots’

The “Cosby Show” alum, who was recently job-shamed for working at Trader Joe’s, landed a role as a senator on the Atlanta-filmed series “The Haves and the Have Nots.” 

Although he initially said he didn’t think he’d feel comfortable accepting work after the controversy, Perry pitched him a part he couldn’t resist

“I call him up, and the next week I had written him into 11 shows,” Perry revealed during an interview with Good Morning America. “When he showed up the first day, I saw him in costume, I had 20,000 more ideas running in my head for him.”

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And Owens is grateful. 

“It’s incredible to be written for ... I’m really proud and excited to be part of his world,” Owens said of Perry. “He’s so inspiring.”

The actor, producer and writer behind the “Madea” movie series has also endured financial hardships. Early in his career, he slept in car and struggled to pay his bills.

“To get to this place, just to have seen both sides of this, has been really incredible,” Perry said. “And that’s why I feel like I’m the guy for the underdog ... Sometimes things just don't work out. And that's okay. You do what you have to do in between to get to the point until it gets there.”

That’s the message Owens hopes to promote. He believes every job is “worthwhile and valuable,” and he said he thinks his story could be the “cause that's actually going to bridge the divide in our country.”

“Maybe this is it,” he continued. “This is the way that we come together.”

Catch his return to television on OWN’s “The Have and the Have Nots” at 9 p.m. ET tonight.

» RELATED: Interview: Malcolm-Jamal Warner defends Geoffrey Owens

About the Author

Najja Parker is a writer and online content producer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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