As the title says, I am looking for a way to get Illustrator to handle/make text look the same like it does in Photoshop. I've tried looking everywhere for some kind of setting to change this but so far I cannot find a setting that will change it to what it needs to be. The main reason I ask is because I am trying to put the text on a perspective grid in Illustrator.
From what I can understand from your question you want to manipulate text in Illustrator like you do in Photoshop. The truth is Photoshop is a lot more versatile on this matter although the recent versions of Illustrator do allow you to make some distortions.
To distort text in Illustrator you will have to first outline the text. (the same happens with Photoshop right? usually you have to rasterize the layer)
So go to the Type menu and choose 'Create outlines' or use the shortcut (cmd+shift+o on a mac or ctrl+shift+o on a pc)
After you have your text outlined you won't be able to re-write it so make sure you either have the final draft of the text or that you save a copy of the text on the side if you need to go back and restart it all over again.
After this use the keyboard shortcut E. That is for the Free transform tool.
Then select whichever option is better for what you want. If it gets too distorted you might have to correct the ratio of the text with your regular scale box that appears when you select an object with the arrow tool.
This is the little floating window that will appear when the transformation tool is selected.
You can either choose perspective distortion or free distortion with which you can completly mess up the text
Make sure you do not close the free transform tool before you make all the changes to the text because as you go and distort the text it will get a bit harder to manipulate it the way you want. Unfortunately Illustrator does not make a box that settles with the distortion of the object the way photoshop does with smart objects.
A second way to do this... that I really don't like but you might as well know is using the warp options.
You won't have to transform text into outline with this one and you will be able to distort and still edit the text. But you will be limited to the options the software has for you with some changes allowed by the sliding interface you will see in the warp options dialog.
Hope this helps in any way.