Share “Meet Mr. Brown, sweet Cora

Meet Mr. Brown, sweet Cora
David and Tamela Mann share insight about show, their lives

by Carla Hinton Published: March 29, 2008
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I didn't know what to expect when I sat down for an interview with David and Tamela Mann. The couple have become famous for their alter-egos, the hilarious clothes-challenged Mr. Brown and sweet Cora, the daughter he shares with Tyler Perry's gun-toting, wise-cracking character, Madea.

The Manns were in Oklahoma City late last year starring in one of Perry's plays, "What's Done in the Dark.”

With Perry's movie "Meet the Browns” now on the big screen (it premiered Good Friday), I thought I'd share my interview with the Manns.

Incidentally, I saw the movie, which starred Angela Bassett and Rick Fox. I thought the film was OK, but I would have loved to have seen more of the Manns. After all, when you think about "the Browns,” David Mann's wacky Mr. Brown is who you think of.

First, to answer his fans' unspoken question, David Mann turned up in regular street clothes for our meeting. Everything matched — no polka-dotted overalls or plaid skinny pants or multicolored "onesies” like his character, Mr. Brown, loves to wear.

Here's our question-and-answer session:

Q:First, I'd like to get some basic information, like your age, how long you've been married. ...

A:Tamela: We've been married for 19 years.

David: And I'm 20ish. (laughter)

Tamela: We're both 41.

Q:How many kids do you have?

A:David: Four. Three girls, one boy.

Tamela: We have four beautiful children.

David: She says that. I don't say we have four beautiful children. I just say we have four children ... because they're all not beautiful. (laughter)

Tamela: They are.

David: There's nothin' like a mother's love, is there? (laughter)

Q:What is it like being in business together? You are both singers and comedians.

A.Tamela: It's actually great. We find it to be really easy because first of all, we love each other's company and we're in love with each other. He's my best friend, so it makes it kind of easy. If things get a little bumpy, I can go to him and talk to him.

David: The deal is, we genuinely enjoy each other's company. We started in this industry together.

Q:How did you meet?

A.Tamela: My best friend went to high school with him. She sang in the choir with him. She was kind of bragging on me at her school.

David: Basically what her friend said was, "You guys think ya'll can sing, but I'm going to bring somebody here that will blow ya'll out.”

Tamela: She said that, I didn't say that. I went and sang for them.

David: She really blew us away.

Tamela: We just grew from there.

David: The group that we had, she started singing with us. One day I kissed her, and she fell in love. She did.

Tamela: That was really one of my prayers. I asked the Lord for someone that was doing the same thing that I was doing, so I wouldn't have to explain coming in late from church and musicals, versus them thinking I'm coming in from the club. He would be there with me.

David: I didn't like clubs, so that worked out perfectly.

Tamela: We have a good time together, so it comes easy.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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David and Tamela Mann share a scene in "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns.” LIONSGATE

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