If you don’t know Marlon Wayans or the Wayans family, then where the hell have you been? From the TV shows like In Living Color to movies such as Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood to their Scary Movie film franchise, the Wayans know funny. There’s actually 10 siblings in the family, including the most well-known: Keenan Ivory, Damon, Shawn and Marlon being the youngest.
Though he’s best known for comedy, Marlon is a diverse actor. He can do drama like in Requiem For A Dream, and he also writes, produces and directs like in his latest movie, out now on DVD, A Haunted House 2.
We spoke with him this week to discuss his latest film, how it felt to step away from his brothers and venture out on his own, his family’s 1990s show The Wayans Bros., and his recent controversy that got him on the front page of TMZ.
I’ve been a fan of yours, since The Wayans Bros. show. It’s an honor to talk with you.
Thanks, Zac. The Wayans Bros. show only got like one season on DVD.
But, you had at least 4 or 5 seasons?
We have five, but only season 1 is on DVD. I have no idea why. It’s a black show, so maybe that’s why. Thanks though, that was so much fun to do.
I am a white Jewish guy from the suburbs and even my parents love you guys.
You hang out with black people, cause you sound like a brother.
That’s just the Hip-Hop in me.
It’s crazy how that culture has taken over.
I bought my parents your movie, White Chicks, for one of their birthdays. They love quoting that movie. It gets to the point where I have to tell them to shut up, but in a nice way.
I am a huge fan of your spoof movies like Don’t Be A Menace and Scary Movie. What movies did you parody in A Haunted House 2?
I don’t base it on making fun of things, I base it more on doing original things. We have the doll from The Conjuring in there; we make the doll a stalker in the movie. Other than that, this isn’t a direct parody, it’s an original movie.
You are known for making parodies, what made you go a different route this time?
I wanted to do something original. I love parodies, but I wanted to make something more unique. I am trying to transition out of comedies and do dramas again.
Sometimes I forget you are a serious actor too. You have done some serious roles like Requiem For A Dream. How many writers do you have on these types of movies?
This movie was just me and my partner Rick. Before I used to work with four guys, but now it’s just me and Rick.
This is also the second movie you are doing by yourself, without your brothers correct?
Yea, I mean I love my brothers, but I am a grown ass man. I am still on tour with them right now, doing this comedy tour. I am at a place in my life where I want to do my own thing.
What’s been the feedback from your brothers about these movies?
They think I’m crazy (laughs), but they support me though. I am more this generations, you know? My brothers are from before the Internet. I am a little edgier, so I know more what this generation likes.
I really can’t express how much I love The Wayans Bros. show, did you and Shawn write those episodes?
Thanks so much. Shawn and I did not write the whole thing, but we did write it and we would improvise a lot. By season 2 and a half, we were calling the shots on our show. People would give us stories and then we would work around them.
Who else is in your new movie, out on DVD now, A Haunted House 2?
Jamie Pressley, Affion Crockette, Dave Sheridan, Cedric The Entertainer and more, it’s a good cast.
I know you wrote and produced Scary Movie, but you weren’t in charge of that one?
Keenan was the captain of that ship, but I was heavily involved. For my A Haunted House series, I am the captain.
You are the baby of a family of 10, what’s it like to step out on your own and be a boss?
I’m not really a boss like that, because I like to have fun. People don’t work for me, they work with me. That’s how I get the best out of everyone is by treating them like coworkers.
You can do all types of comedies, from physical to stand up to written. Which type of comedy is your favorite?
I just love all of them. I am really following stand up right now. I love doing characters and different types of things. I don’t have to try to be funny and it just happens. My brain processes the information and it comes out funny.
I saw you were on TMZ, where there was a little bit of dumb controversy for no reason. For those that don’t know, you were at the Jay Z and Beyonce concert and a white girl was dancing next to you. You tweeted out a photo of the girl saying she dances like a white girl with no rhythm. It turns out this girl is a pop star from Australia. Some people complained and were in an uproar over the tweet and photo. You have been around for a while now. Have we become so politically correct and soft now?
We are way too politically correct. What happened to freedom of speech? I am a comedian, I am not going to apologize for a joke, the same way a President wouldn’t apologize for bombing a country. Let me say up front, I am not apologizing for my joke. You don’t have to watch my shows or see my movies. I may not be for some, but people that know me know that I don’t do this for “oohhhhs,” I do it for the “ahhhs.” It’s all just jokes, it not personal or mean. I will say sorry, but get the f*ck out.
You summed up my thoughts to; people that are complaining don’t know your brand of comedy.
They tried to say I am a racist because of this one comment. I mean, this white girl could just not dance, that’s just the truth.
Did these people not see White Chicks? You did a great job playing a white girl.
Yea, but people have short-term memories and always looking for something to complain about. I will not be silenced, I am going to speak my mind no matter what. I never saw Richard Pryor apologize for a joke and he shouldn’t. I think they should keep cameras out of comedy clubs, so we can just say what we want. My brand is not for everyone, but it is for some people. In order to find the most brilliant laugh, you have to go to dark places. You have to allow yourself to be a little dark and go to dark places.
A Haunted House 2 is out now on DVD. Get it at Amazon.