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Tyler Perry Dishes on New 'Madea' Movie

By Lisa Marsh | June 26, 2012 8:28am | Updated on June 27, 2012 12:08pm

UPPER WEST SIDE — The Ponzi-scheme criminal Bernie Madoff seems an unlikely inspiration for the latest offering from movie-maker Tyler Perry.

“I was sitting at dinner with a friend," explained Perry at last night's premiere of “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection," "[and] I was thinking the best punishment for Bernie Madoff would have been having him move in with Madea."

“That’s where the movie came from. I had 30 pages by the end of dinner.”

Now in federal prison serving 150 years, Madoff may perhaps count his blessings that Perry had nothing to do with his sentencing.

The movie premiere drew Perry’s good friend Gayle King as well as fellow actors Eugene Levy, Denise Richards, Doris Roberts, Romeo Miller, John Amos and Tom Arnold.

“Real Housewife of New Jersey,” Melissa Gorga had a small mishap on her way to the screening.

“I forgot to put on my deodorant and I just had my driver pull over. Joe ran into Duane Reade and to get me deodorant,” she said, adding. “This is my life at this point.”

USA Network's new mini-series "Political Animals" also made its debut Monday at the Morgan Library and Museum. Star Sigourney Weaver, who plays the Secretary of State and the leader of a deeply flawed family, explained that her first-ever foray into television seemed predestined.

“Because of my father being in television," Weaver said, “I grew up with this idea of mainlining quality programming into the center of the living room where you can’t escape it.” Her father, Pat Weaver, was the president of NBC.

And from July 15, Weaver will be in everyone's living room. “I believe in going to where the material is,” she said, “And frankly, the best material is in television."

Photos courtesy of PatrickMcMullan.com.