(NEW YORK) — Tyler Perry says the tough workout regime he undertook for his title role as a detective in the movie version of the James Patterson novel Alex Cross lifted his confidence.
Perry told Men’s Health he’s a lot more confident, adding, “I feel it’s OK to be thought of as sexy.”
Perry worked with a trainer to drop 30 pounds and add muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame. His workouts included cardio, body-weight moves and cable work. He also practiced martial arts in preparation for the movie’s fight scenes.
The filmmaker’s diet included scrambled egg whites, ground turkey chili and grilled chicken breasts, a far cry for the Southern food on which the New Orleans native was raised. Biscuits, pancakes, jambalaya were all banished from his table.
“All my life I’ve tried to hide my height. I was taller than everybody else and stood out, so I would slouch and try to hide it,” he said. “But what I’ve been able to do with my body, I’m owning it. I’m standing up when I walk into a room.”
Alex Cross opens nationwide Oct. 19.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
David Goldman, CNN
Jackie Wattles, CNN