David and Tamela Mann may have become synonymous with Tyler Perry as Cora and Mr. Brown, but they are proving they are a force on their own. The couple blend work and love seamlessly, supporting one another through smiles and standing on their faith along the way. Though they remain staples with Perry in hit shows like BET’s Tyler Perry's Assisted Living, their resume expands beyond the association with him.
Tamela is solidifying herself as an icon in the world of gospel, and also embarking on different health and lifestyle ventures. David is also riding solo. The funnyman is exploring standup comedy. They recently sat with Shadow and Act to dish on everything they have going on.
Check out some of the highlights below and watch the full interview above. The Manns expand on their latest projects, which include Tamela being cast in The Color Purple with Oprah Winfrey’s seal of approval and reuniting with Perry for Netflix’s A Madea Homecoming. She also has a shapewear line and athletic apparel line for curvier women. The couple also shares why they will probably never remarry if anything were to happen to the other and the secrets to keeping things afloat.
On why ‘Assisted Living’ has been a success
Perry has another hit on his hands in the eyes of his fans Assisted Living. The show chronicles Jeremy’s (Na’im Lynn) journey after he relocates to the most southern part of Georgia to help his crazy grandfather manage a run-down home for the elderly. The Manns reprise their roles as Cora and Mr. Brown. They credit the show’s success to Perry tapping into a demographic that is often overlooked.
“I would say seasoned saints, that’s what I call people in our age group, finally have something to relate to,” Tamela told us. “Sometimes we question: ‘Is there something for them to watch, too?’ Because we forget about their demographic in between like 35 to 70. We are always focused on young people, and forget about everyone in the middle. And this show is for everyone – from youngsters – we have the teenagers in high school and finishing up school, going to college – so we kind of hit our bases.”
David shares similar sentiments, adding: “[The reason the show works] is that viewers see some of those characters in their family. You see Mr. Brown, unfortunately, we have some of those people in our family,” he joked. “We have the Cora’s, the J. Anthony Brown, who is also in the show. Yes, we have those people in our family.”
Tamela Mann recently made history as the first gospel artist on Billboard to get three consecutive No. 1 hits from one album. Seeing where she is now, it makes her emotional and ever more grateful to God for her success
Perry and David have spoken openly about seeing the potential in Tamela as a solo artist. Tamela admits she saw herself more in the background. But with such support, she’s happy she took the leap.
“It’s just such an honor to be able to help, to bring inspiration and joy to people and to just give people hope through music,” she said while fighting back tears. “Because music plays a big part, and I’m just so happy for the opportunity to share that.”
David Mann has taken his love of comedy to the next level via standup
He may be beloved as Mr. Brown, but his comedy chops extend beyond that. The Mann family patriarch does quite the standup routine during his family tour. He looks forward to showcasing his talent more. Despite his wife wanting him to be more cautious about what comes out of his mouth, making people laugh is David’s goal.
“I’ve started doing more standup and I like doing it. I like it, especially now after coming out in the pandemic,” he said.
Working together for some couples is a recipe for disaster, but it’s the ultimate ingredient for the Manns’ success. They’ve been together for over 30 years and agree that their marriage has gotten better with time.
“It’s getting easier and not harder because of things that we’ve learned. We’ve been together in our 20s, 30s, 40s now, our 50s. And so we’re not the people that we were in our 20s and 30s and we have learned a lot,” David notes. “And we’ve learned from the mistakes that we made in our 20s, 30s, 40s and now we’re done with all of that stuff. Now we take them and we put them into action.”
Tamela says working at it is what’s contributed to their success as a couple. “It takes work and I feel like we’re getting better as time goes on,” she added. “Or even with the down days that we do have, we have more happy days than sad days. We don’t have that many days that we’re arguing and nagging at each other.”
Watch the full interview above.