Backstage with Sandy Kenyon: The stars of Tyler Perry's 'Acrimony'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Taraji P. Henson defines "Acrimony" in the new Tyler Perry film and lends new meaning to the expression "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

"I've been in relationships that didn't work out," the star said. "I've been hurt before. I've had my heart broken. And we all have this place where we can go, where we can snap. But there are some of us who can stop ourselves and talk it down, and there are the ones who are in jail now who couldn't."

She goes over-the-top into full meltdown mode as Melinda, commanding the audience's attention by the force of her acting and the very compelling tale she tells. It was a challenge for Lyriq Bent, who plays Robert, her love interest.

"I had to be on point, because I had no excuses," he said. "I mean, if she's coming like that, which I didn't realize she was going to come that intense at all, but it was great. I don't think she could help herself. She's just a consummate professional, and it definitely raised the bar."

They divorce, and a bit too conveniently, fame and fortune finally come to her ex after he re-connects with an old flame. This does not sit well with Melinda, who responds by torching the fiancee's wedding dress.

"I draw from it, and a lot of it is the things I thought about doing but talked myself out of," she said.

The dramatic new movie is so intense, you may be surprised to learn it was written and directed by Perry, who is, of course, best known for his comedies.

"To have Taraji in there, anything I can do with Taraji, I'm really excited about," Perry said. "That's somebody who has a great well, where they can go in and know exactly what emotion they need, pull it out for that moment and be done. And she's been doing it for years. So it's really awesome to work with somebody like that, who is that incredible."

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