There is something about a terrified Marlon Wayans that America loves. He made the first two Scary Movies, the memorable ones, and a decade later the people demand more of Marlon losing his shit.
He returns in fine form for A Haunted House 2, a follow-up to 2013's found-footage spoof, hitting theaters April 18th. But know this -- there is far more to Marlon Wayans than a shrill shriek. He's a comedic entrepreneur with as much ambition as slapstick prowess and the track record to back it up. We sat down with him to prove it.
Cultist: Thanks for your time. How are you liking Miami?
Marlon Wayans: What is there not to like about Miami? Miami is dope. Great weather, great food, beautiful women... no taxes! There are no state taxes, right? I need to move here.
We've got plenty of room for you! I'm a fan from The Wayans Bros and Don't Be a Menace... Paired with your brother, the dynamic was you as the funnier skinny one and he was the straight-man muscle guy. Did you eat him? You've absorbed all that.
Naa, it's just for this movie. You've kinda gotta play romantic lead sometimes, so I'm trying to find the line between romantic lead body and silly, crazy putty body. Actually, for my next movie, I think I'm going to drop like 10 pounds.
So the more comedic the role, the leaner you go. You're like DeNiro.
It's like a fight weight. I always give myself a fight weight for a movie and go "I'm gonna hit this mark." I think that's where the character is gonna be and that's where I need to be for the comedy.
Exactly, besides comedy your range is all over the place. You've drama'd, you've action'd--
I've done it all. I'm a whore.
Is it because of the whoreness, or you love to explore?
I love to explore. I'm a whore that loves to explore. A whore that loves it.
The best kind.
My favorite is comedy, by far. It's just very hard to do comedy. It's easy to make people laugh, but it's hard to make people cry laughing.
You are known as a comedic actor but I've seen you doing stand-up comedy more. Have you been dabbling?
I do it. I've been doing it now three-and-a-half years, but I didn't come up as a stand-up. I came up as an actor. I started stand-up because I got the role of Richard Pryor. I was like, "I got to play the greatest stand-up comedian ever, then I should get my black ass on stage." Now, I don't know what's happening with the movie, but I just wound up loving stand-up. I started wanting to play a great, and now I want to be a great.
Besides the seasoned Cedric the Entertainer, you have another stand-up, Gabriel Iglesias, in the movie.
We actually played a gig together in Ft. Myers, Florida. After the gig I was like, "Yo, you're funny. You have a great personality you should do movies." And he's like "then write something fucker." [laughs] I'm like, "okay, if I write it, you're going to do it." So, he came out and broke bread with me, and I gave him the part on Twitter. He was absolutely great in the movie. He's going to be a movie star, this guy.
Did you make him strangle the fake chicken?
No. I did the strangling, he videotaped. I do all the dirty work. He was my accomplice.
Tell us about What The Funny, your new online comedy enterprise with Funny or Die.
Yeah, it's an urban comedy network. It's a home for young and established guys with content to come play. We have great webisodes and sketches. My nephew little Damon has a funny sketch series called Wayan's World, Rob Stapleton is a really funny comedian who has a sketch show. There's Todrick Hall, a great Broadway star who does "ratchet remixes" of Broadway plays, so instead of "Singing in the Rain," he did "Twerking in the Rain." I do sketches.
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The whole "urban" thing can be confusing, used as a label in entertainment. Is it more of a divider or something bringing people together?
It's more of a bridge. It's the youth culture, it's not urban in terms of color. Urban is a melting pot of people. Urban is not just black. Black is just the loudest people ... and then Latinos. It's black, it's Latino, Middle Eastern, Jewish, gay, skateboarders, hipsters. It's everybody that basically don't look like they belong on money.
Tweet the self-proclaimed Selfie King @MarlonWayans.