One of the things actors like to avoid most in Hollywood is typecasting, and 26-year-old actress Lauren London finally gets to shatter her good girl mold in the Tyler Perry film Madea’s Big Happy Family. Starring opposite Bow Wow, Loretta Devine, Isaiah Mustafa and Perry as wisecracking Madea, London memorably chews up the scenery as money-loving, apathetic bad girl Renee, a character she loved playing.
“Renee was pretty over the top, she’s kind of exaggerated, and this role was fun,” London tells BET.com. “When I read the script I thought, ‘this girl is crazy!’”
Despite the chorus of criticism that Perry routinely faces from detractors like director Spike Lee, who believe the Atlanta-based director delves too freely into racial stereotypes and derogatory images, London felt it was an honor to star in a Perry film. “It’s being a part of history. Tyler Perry is huge in Hollywood,” says the Los Angeles native. “He’s created an amazing empire and to say you were a part of that at one time is very cool. Watching him act and direct was inspiring." However, the role she's proudest of is being mom to her son with rap superstar Lil’ Wayne.
“He [my son] comes first. If it [acting work] doesn’t line with what I’m doing as a mother, I don’t do it. I want to separate what I do and who I am as his mother,” says London. And in the era of celebrity baby blogs and family portraits becoming magazine cover stories, this is one celeb mom whose purposely keeping her son out of the spotlight. “He’s too sacred for me to share with anybody right now. He’s too special. I just don’t want anybody to have any opinions about my angel,” London says. “Talk about me, don’t talk about my child.”
Madea’s Big Happy Family is on DVD this week.
(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)