jurnee smolett-bell
Photo: Lorenzo Agius
Tyler Perry's Temptation director Tyler Perry joins Jurnee for some dish on confidence, strong women, and what men really think is sexy.
Q: This issue of O is about confidence. So how do you stay secure in the competitive world of show business?

Tyler Perry: I think there's something that happens at 40 where you settle into your own skin and you stop caring what people think—you realize life is a gift from God and you want to live it to the fullest.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell: When I was younger, I really struggled with confidence. You go through those awkward, dorky, geeky stages, and growing up in the industry amplifies all that. Fortunately, I have a mother who encouraged me to build my confidence from within and embrace my imperfections.

Q: Tyler, how did your mother help you growing up? Was she anything like Sarah, the strong mother character in the film?

Tyler Perry: I felt I needed a voice of reason in the movie. And my mother was absolutely one of those women who not only was a person to laugh with and gave great hugs but also slapped the hell out of me when I was out of line.

Q: Jurnee's fashion shoot is about understated ways to look sexy. Do you think men and women differ on the subject?

Jurnee Smollett-Bell: Of course! I can't speak for all women, but for me it's all about leaving something to mystery.

Tyler Perry: I love to see a woman in high-heeled shoes. There's something about the curve of the feet up the leg to the butt that's really, really wonderful, and the right pair of shoes can give you the right silhouette.

Q: Anything else you wanted to add?

Tyler Perry: Just that I really loved working with Jurnee and the world has yet to see what an amazing talent she is.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell: Wow. You make me blush!

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