Ben Affleck and Tyler Perry bonded on the set of Gone Girl the old fashioned way â€“ through sing-a-longs. Perry, who plays celebrity lawyer Tanner Bolt in the upcoming adaptation of Gillian Flynnâ€™s 2012 best-seller, tells New York Magazine that Affleck had a tendency to burst into â€™80s tunes in between takes. Impressed with his co-starâ€™s encyclopedic song knowledge, Perry decided to put it to the test.
â€œOne day, I was like, Iâ€™m just going to see how wild he can get. So I started singing [Bette Midlerâ€™s] â€˜The Rose,â€™ and he could do it!â€ Perry reveals. How did director David Fincher, who runs a famously tight ship, react to his cast belting Bette? According to Perry, â€œhe was singing along, too!â€
Fincherâ€™s adaptation of Gone Girl promises to be full of surprises â€“ and Perryâ€™s involvement got the ball rolling when he signed on. The entertainment mogul behind the Madea franchise rarely appears in films he doesnâ€™t direct, write, or produce himself. When he agreed to play Gone Girlâ€™s charismatic defense attorney,Perry wasnâ€™t familiar with the filmâ€™s inspiration or its A-list director (whose films include The Social Network and Fight Club). â€œI probably would have walked away from it. If I had known who David Fincher was, and his body of work, or if Iâ€™d known the book was so popular, I would have said, No,â€ he admits. â€œAnd my agent knew that! He didnâ€™t tell me until after I signed on!â€
Though wary about playing a character from a beloved book, which he describes as â€œa lot of pressure,â€ Perry had fun making the film. In particular, he recalls a scene in which he had to lob gummy bears at Affleckâ€™s head during multiple takes. (The jelly beans of the book were deemed â€œtoo hardâ€ to throw at a movie starâ€™s face.) â€œListen â€“ the man walks around with packs of Jolly Ranchers in his pockets,â€ Perry says of Affleck. â€œHe loves them! So gummy bears â€“ heâ€™s a happy camper. I just made sure that as I was throwing them, it was off to the left, because I was worried about hitting him in the eye.â€
As for perfectionist director Fincher, Perry says he was â€œalways smilingâ€ â€“ except for one time when a crew memberâ€™s phone rang during filming. To preserve the on-set harmony, Perry stepped in.
â€œI could see (Fincherâ€™s) eyes turning, and before he could say anything, I said it was my phone,â€ Perry says. â€œWhatâ€™s he going to do? Iâ€™m bigger than him!â€