"I want people to know there's hope, no matter what situation someone is going through," Perry says. "That's what I'd like people to walk away with—no matter how dark your life may be, God forgives."

Faith on the Set

For actress Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hustle & Flow), Tyler's personal faith and skillful direction challenged her in a variety of ways.

"When you're doing a scene, he's the guy who will walk over to you and say ‘I don't believe you. I don't believe a word you just said.' That encourages me to dig deeper as an actress, and his way of communication works for me."

Henson, who stars in the leading role of April in I Can Do Bad All By Myself, says the story was an encouraging reminder of one of God's greatest gifts:  love.

"God is love, and He represents love," Henson says. "It's the greatest gift He gave to humans. And if you're not loving, you're not living. You're amazing the walking dead. And with my character, there was a disconnect when it came to love. Her understanding had been distorted at a young age, and ultimately, she needed God."

In her first acting role, singer Mary J. Blige was also affected by April's story because it's so much like her own. "When I read the script, I couldn't believe how much her story was like mine. And that definitely made me want to jump on board as April's friend Tanya," says Blige. "When I first saw the film at the premiere, I couldn't really believe it. That was my life story on the big screen."

Blige says she eventually came to a point in her personal journey when she was simply tired of being her own worst enemy. "I realized that I needed help in order to get to a place where I was whole again," she shares. "I eventually fell to my knees and asked God where I needed to go. And He sent my husband who was already a born-again Christian. He was the one who introduced me to the concept of having my own relationship with the Lord."

And now Blige says boldly that her life is "all about my personal faith."

"My faith is everything to me. I can't walk, live, breathe—anything—without it because without it, I'm nothing. I mean nothing to this world without it, and I'm not going to live without it." 

 

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a sexual assault on a minor, violence, drug references and smoking, I Can Do Bad All By Myself opens wide in theaters on Friday, September 11, 2009. 

For more information about the film, please visit www.icandobadmovie.com.