Marlon Wayans is perhaps the most contemplative of the Wayanses, never missing an opportunity to learn more about himself. Take for example, what he took away from a nearly four-hour improvised shoot for a scene in his film A Haunted House, in theaters Friday.
"I discovered I can actually -- for lack of a better word -- I can f*ck anything," Wayans informed Cultist. "Pretty much. Stuffed animals? You would have thought it was two beautiful women that I saw."
The film spoofs the Paranormal Activity series, purporting to be a tape made by Wayans's character after his house becomes possessed. During the scene in question, Wayans warms up for an evening of lovemaking with the aid of his girlfriend's stuffed animals.
"All we had written was just a couple of moves. And then I looked on the bed and there was this little innocent stuffed animal dog just sitting there, looking at me, and I said, 'You. I'm gonna hump the life out of you.' And I did. On the DVD, I'm going to put porn music behind it and I'm going to show like a 35-minute take of me with the stuffed animals."
And so, does Marlon Wayans look at stuffed animals differently now?
"No," he said. "But I think kids will. I was at a screening the other day and I saw some kids there and I was like, 'Don't do to your dolls what I did to mine. Don't do that to your Elmo.'"
But when Cultist pointed out that today's children are possibly in more danger of Elmo doing that to them, Wayans lit up and asked his assistant to send him a note, an idea for a future sketch. She was confused.
"Just text me, 'Elmo as a pedophile," he explained to her, and just like that, the glamour of the film business evaporated and we realized that their jobs were just like anybody else's.
Aside from his standup, film, and television work with his brothers, Wayans has also written several books (101 Ways to Know You're Having a Ghetto Christmas, 101 Ways to Know It's Time to Get Out of Your Mama's House), as well as acting in films by Darren Aronofsky, the Coen Brothers, and in Norbit. On A Haunted House, he was a writer, producer and, in keeping with the premise of it being found self-shoot footage, sometimes the cameraman.
"I had the harness on and was actually doing the work on the camera," he said. "But I was always pretty good with the camera because my home porn collection is crazy. I have like 250 of them, 251."
Though Wayans suggests that all 251 encounters could fit on a single DVD with plenty of room for bonus defilement of children's toys:
"I don't really tape it because, you know, it'd be a really sad minute-and-a-half tape. A lot of apologizing. 'I had a lot on my mind. You shouldn't have moved like that!'"
So he doesn't really make homemade sex tapes. Next he'll tell us that he doesn't even believe in ghosts.
"I've never dealt with a ghost in my life," he swore. "I've wanted to because I just want to know for me that there's life after death. So I wouldn't be scared or frightened of a ghost because I'd want to ask it questions. Like, is death painful? Can other people see you or is it just me? Can you visit people that owe you money and scare the hell out of them?"
And maybe add to that list, what's the deal is with those gosh darn Kardashians?
"I think we're bored as a society,' Wayans said. "We've become voyeurs and it's weird. I miss people scripted things. There's a math involved, a science involved in writing a joke and creating a scene.
"Now people are going to ridiculous places in their lives. They're just being ridiculous and there's no more responsibility. 'The crazier I am, the more money I'll make.' Who would have thought that Kim Kardashian does a sex tape and now she has 25 million followers on Twitter and she's selling perfume. It was a sex tape. It was mediocre head. I mean, it's just weird where society is going. But it's a good thing, I guess, but it's just weird."
But if he ever does release those sex tapes...
"Nobody would want to buy my perfume."
Believe it or not, there are some people working in film and television these days who are not related to Marlon. For example, JB Smoove, who nearly steals the film in the in two minutes he's on screen.
"There are a lot of funny non-Wayans out there," he clarified. "I just happen to have a couple of them in the movie." JB Smoove, Wayans insisted, is not a relative. "Actually, I think he's a Z. He looks a lot like Jay-Z. I think he's a Carter. Like Jay-Z without the swag. They've got the same lips. Jay-Z without Beyonce or the billions."
The first one that got kicked out of Destiny's Child...could JB Smoove swing her?
"Not even her," Wayans said. Then he gave it some more thought. "Maybe. No, no. Definitely not."
A shame, that, as she surely gets lonely sometimes.
"Yeah, I know which one you're talking about, too," he agreed. "She's a friend of mine."
"Not nice enough to stay in the group."
Spots in Destiny's Child are nearly as coveted as spots in the Wayans family. It wouldn't be ludicrous to assume that by now there is a waiting list.
"No, actually we're getting rid of them," Wayans said. "There are too many. We're implementing a population control plan here. I'm going to literally tie my dick in a knot. No more Wayanses."
Marlon only claims to have added two additional Wayanses to the running total, but is wary of adding any more.
"I never want to be like my mom. Like, my mom's had so many kids, my dad's got stretch marks. My dad grew breasts just to help her breastfeed."
But even with the surfeit of Wayanses out there, Marlon couldn't get any of them to appear in A Haunted House.
"They literally turned me down," he told us. "Damon said, 'Your movie's too dark for me. It's too crazy.' And I'm like, 'This is the guy that did HandiMan? Okay!' He goes, 'That's different.'"
Wayans ended up having to look past several of his first choices for the cast.
"Most of the people we had in our mind were busy filming on television. But once I met with each one of these people we got, I knew that's who my cast was going to be.
In the case of Nick Swardson, who plays a randy psychic with designs on Wayans's character, "we had like 17 different people in mind," Wayans said. "The one we really wanted was Ken Jeong because we thought he'd be really funny. But he was like, 'I don't want to do this. It's stereotyping me. I don't want to be a gay Asian.' It was weird. I was like, 'But you've never played this before.'
"And Swardson, who's done it like a million times, but he's just so funny and for us, for any of these roles, like, Cedric the Entertainer has played a preacher many a time but he's never played a thugged out gangsta preacher and you've never seen him like that. Dave Sheridan has played the slow brother before and he did it for us in Scary Movie but he did a different kind of turn here.
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"So, yeah, it all worked out. God cast the movie. At the end of the day, this is exactly who we were supposed to have in the movie."
Sorry, victims of hunger and disease. Because Ken Jeong was being fussy, God had to take time away from saving you in order to cast a movie. But the rest of us can now enjoy that movie, so thanks for taking one for the team.
A Haunted House opens nationwide tomorrow.