Tyler Perry, who plays the title character in this weekend's opening movie "Alex Cross," admitted it was tough deciding if he should follow in Morgan Freeman's footsteps for the action film.
The 6' 6" actor, who is widely known donning a wig and dress for the successful "Madea" film franchise, revealed that filling in Freeman's shoes was hard to consider. Freeman played James Patterson's Alex Cross in the author's film adaptations of "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider."
"I walked away from [the role] because Morgan Freeman had done it, and I did not want to go after Morgan Freeman, because that man is brilliant," Perry told CNN. "I mean, the man played God! But then as I read James' description, I realized he was basically describing me...so then I thought, 'This is it.'"
Perry spoke to the press at a screening given by The Cinema Society and Grey Goose at New York's Tribeca Grand Hotel on Thursday, Oct. 18
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound star also discussed losing weight to fully transform himself into an action hero for the movie.
Perry shared with Men's Health the secrets to his weight loss success in the cover story for the November 2012 issue.
The 43-year-old worked with a personal trainer who supervised one hour long morning routines that inlcuded cardio, body weight moves and free-weights and cable work. In the afternoons, he practiced the Israeli martial art, Krav Maga.
Perry switched his favorite Southern comfort foods of gravy biscuits, pork chops and jambalaya to healthier food options such as egg whites, grilled turkey chili, grilled chicken breasts and green shakes.
"The Krav Maga really helps to keep [the weight] off," Perry told US. "And I'm laying off the donuts."
Perry also revealed that shedding the pounds has changed his personal outlook: "I walk into a room with a lot more confidence. 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. But with what I've been able to do with my body, I'm owning it. I'm able to stand up when I walk into a room."
"I knew I was going to do the best I [could]," he said, when asked whether he ever worried he wouldn't get in shape in time for the film. "I don't put that kind of pressure on myself...I do the absolute best I can do. I wanted to be 20 pounds lighter than I was, but it is what it is.I just feel really confident. I feel good."
"Now, I feel like it's OK to be thought of as sexy," Perry told USA Today.
Perry said he has continued the same diet and exercise regimen after the film's production wrapped but admits he still has one weakness.
"It's cognac," he revealed. "I like a nice glass of cognac in the evening. That's hard to give up."
"Alex Cross" is about a homicide detective who sets out to capture a serial killer who specializes in torture and pain.
"Alex Cross" arrived in theaters nationwide on Friday, Oct. 19.