Written by | Ray Cornelius
Cast members from Tyler Perry’s überly popular television series, “The Haves and the Have Nots” (HAHN) and “Love Thy Neighbor,” entertained members of the Atlanta press Thursday afternoon during a private reception at The Twelve Hotel in Atlantic Station. Patrice Lovely, Palmer Williams, Kendra C. Johnson and Tyler Lepley were eager to discuss their show’s new season.
“The Haves and the Have Nots” is an hour-long drama that follows the complicated dynamic between the rich and powerful Cryer and Harrington families and the less fortunate Young family. “Love Thy Neighbor” is a half-hour comedy set at a family run diner where the menu serves up good food and valuable lessons. Each series has proven to be a ratings winner for Tyler Perry and his television partner, The Oprah Winfrey Network. Just this week, “The Haves and The Have Nots” Season 3 premiere pulled in a record 3.2 million viewers, making it the most watched season debut in OWN history.
“Love Thy Neighbor” stars Patrice Lovely, Palmer Williams and Kendra C. Johnson
During the Q&A session, the actors talked about the fun they have working with the unpredictable Tyler Perry, who is notorious for going off script and ad-libbing in the middle of a scene. The group also chatted about how much their story lines and characters have evolved since their first seasons and how their on-screen chemistry is the result of spending a lot of time with each other off-camera.
“We’ve actually become closer,” says Palmer Williams. “You don’t see us crashing at each other’s apartments and learning lines or turning a pajama party into a script learning party. You don’t see the comradery that has developed between us even though we didn’t know that’s what we were doing. The family unit has actually become a family unit.”
Tyler Lepley from “The Haves and the Have Nots”
With so much of today’s television programming being inundated with ‘reality’ shows, the actors expressed how grateful they are to be working on a traditional, scripted program.
“I think it’s great what we’re doing because if you watch these shows, you know there is always a cliff-hanger. I think what has happened in this reality TV movement is that we’ve lost the ‘suspense’ and the ‘anticipation,’ says Leply. “It all goes hand and hand with our cell phones and the lack of communication we have with each other. I think what Mr. Perry has done is brought back ‘real’ television. Back in the day, we used to have to wait until the end of the season to find out what happened like ‘who shot J.R.’ on Dallas. Somehow Mr. Perry has brought that element back to television.”
Patrice Lovely talking about working with Tyler Perry
When asked if viewers will ever see “The Haves and the Have Nots” characters on “Love Thy Neighbor” or vice versa, they simply laughed but said it is an idea that has been tossed around.
“We’ve talked about that in joking,” says Williams. “We want Renee Lawless’ character, Mrs. Cryer and Crystal Fox’s character, Hannah Young, to show up at the diner one day. (LOL) I think that’s the only way it would work. Otherwise, viewers would not take ‘The Haves and the Have Nots’ seriously.”
After the Q&A, the actors broke off into one-on-one interviews and took photos with the media. Reality stars Claudia Jordan and Mimi Faust also stopped by the reception to greet the actors and was interviewed by the media as well.
Check out a few pictures from the reception below:
“The Have and the Have Nots” poster
135 Street’s Saptosa Foster addressing the press
OWN’s Director of Communication Jessica Boyer thanking the media for their support of the shows
Tyler Lepley talking about his character “Benny”
Palmer Williams talking passionately about their off-screen relationships
Kendra C. Johnson and Palmer Williams kept the press laughing
RHOA star Claudia Jordan and LHHATL’s MiMi Faust stopped by the press reception
“The Haves and the Have Nots” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on OWN
“Love Thy Neighbor” airs Wednesdays at 9 .m. on OWN
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com