When Tyler Perry sold his Atlanta mansion for $17.5 million earlier this month it set a record for the highest paid price ever for a private home in the Georgia capital.

"I know this sounds ridiculous, but I wanted more land so I bought more land outside of the city," the 45-year-old Madea mogul told me this weekend while promoting his new movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (in theaters on June 2.) "It's the same distance to the studio as my old house, but now I can have horses and pigs and organic vegetables."

That old house measures in at 34,688 square feet and sits on 17 acres. The French Provincial-style estate includes seven bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, two kitchens, an 18-seat theater and a swimming pool with a waterfall.

Tyler Perry

Doug Meszler/PacificCoastNews

Perry also recently received his first honorary degree from Tuskegee University. "I'm Dr. Perry now," he joked before adding, "It was pretty exciting and also to have an opportunity to give a commencement speech to a bunch of kids who are going out to face the world. I wanted to leave them with something."

He urged the graduates to follow their hearts.

"No one really knows what you went through to be able to sit in this seat," Perry said during his speech. "All of it was to make you strong, strong enough to go through whatever you have to go through to get to your dreams." 

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