Tyler Perry is often asked how he comes up with the stories for his movies, plays and productions. Whether he's creating a comedy or a drama, the one-man entertainment machine says that everything he writes comes from his own experiences. That's especially true of new drama for OWN, "The Haves and the Have Nots."
"The Haves and the Have Nots" is a show about a wealthy Southern family and their hired help, filled with sex, betrayal and buried secrets -- enthralling topics, Oprah says, but she can't help but think about her friend Perry a little differently ever since she first saw the drama. "All of that is going on in [your head]?" she asks Perry.
"Everything that I write about, I write from my own experiences," Perry answers. "I was young once. I've seen all of this."
In addition to growing up in New Orleans -- a placed bursting with all different types of people -- Perry specifically cites his mother's experience caring for wealthy children as inspiration for telling the story of two very different worlds.
"My mother worked at a Jewish Community Center and she took care of all of these Jewish children that were very young and most of them were pretty rich," Perry says. "She would take care of them and go to work early in the morning, make sure they had hot food, and then she would go in the evenings to their house… And we had cereal on the table. The two worlds were so different."
Perry says that this perspective has given him keen insight that have helped when working on "The Haves and the Have Nots" episodes. "Being able to live in one world and having lived in the other, I have a pretty good idea of what happens between them both," he says.
"You've been a 'have-not' and a 'have,'" Oprah observes.
"Yeah," Perry says with a smile. "I kind of like the 'have' a little better."
Tyler Perry's "The Haves and the Have Nots" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.