(Photo: Ture Lillegraven via USA Today)
(USA Today) -- Who's that lean and hot guy on the cover of the November Men's Health? It's Tyler Perry, 30 pounds lighter.
Inside, Perry opens up about his transformation, both physical and psychological.
"Now, I feel like it's OK to be thought of as sexy," he confides.
No kidding, Ty!
Perry lost 30 pounds to play his first starring role in the upcoming action film Alex Cross (opening Oct.19). He's not the only one in the film who's unrecognizable: Check out co-star Matthew Fox, playing a bad guy for once, who's scary thin and massively ripped in the movie.
Perry says losing the pounds changed how he thinks of himself and his body. Despite his success, he wasn't always secure.
"I walk into a room with a lot more confidence," he tells writer Drew Jubera. "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. But with what I've been able to do with my body, I'm owning it. I'm standing up when I walk into a room."
Perry succeeds Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross. "I thought, 'Well, Morgan Freeman played this role, you might not want to do this, 'cause Morgan Freeman knocked it out of the park. But the more I read it, the more I realized that I could do it."
Perry has always been smart about investing in himself.
"The thing about using other people's money is they're going to set the rules," he says. "So at the beginning I used my money, kept reinvesting in myself. Now I own all my content, as opposed to having someone else own it and me being 'work for hire.' That's the difference between doing well and having generations of wealth to pass on to your children."
He reflects on his success and his past setbacks: "I've worked my entire life to get to this place. The first 28 years of my life, it was hell and misery. Now I can do whatever I want. I don't want any drama; I don't want to argue; I don't want to answer to anybody. I've worked too hard to get here, and I'm loving this freedom."