With Marlon Wayan's A Haunted House 2 hitting DVD this week and with a new sketch comedy on TBS called Funniest Wins gaining in the ratings column, Marlon Wayans sat down to discuss his recent movie A Haunted House 2, his take on his family legacy and the evolution of Black actors' roles in Hollywood.
While the conversation was short due to Marlon Wayan's busy acting schedule in both movies and TV, Marlon made it clear that he is diligently working on being the best actor, writer and producer he can be, regardless of the legacy that his family has established in Hollywood to date and regardless of the opportunities available to Black actors in Hollywood. Marlon has taken his own career by the reins and is taking an active role writing, producing and directing his own films and TV shows.
Take a look at our conversation with Marlon Wayans as we catch up with the talented and hard-working actor with a legacy that's still in the making.
AllHipHop: Can you talk about how you incorporated Hip-Hop in this most recent film A Haunted House 2 if at all?
Marlon Wayans: "Well I think that Hip-Hop is such a big part of pop culture, that you gotta reference it and I think that the rhythm of the movie and hard-core edge of this movie kind of represents rap. I look at rap as such a fearless genre and people get to speak their minds and speak freely and they don't apologize for shit, and I'm the same kind of way. So I think me and Hip-Hop go way back as far as that's concerned."
AllHipHop: You've done a number of films that are parody films or that take pieces or make fun of common movies, can you talk about why you enjoy these types of films?
Marlon Wayans: "This isn't a parody film, this more of an original comedy, with parody moments, I don't use pure parody, I think its more an original movie unto itself. I think that this has new moments and I think this is still funny and still relevant. I like the challenge of finding funny in dark places, and I've been a class clown my whole life making fun of people, so making fun of movies and finding the funny in those types of situations are intriguing to me. I like the challenge. You think its easy, some people think its easy, it's very hard to write something like that."
AllHipHop: Can you talk about what it was like growing up and how you got into film writing and production. You obviously come from a family with a great legacy in film, what was that like?
Marlon Wayans: "I was 8 years old, my brother had been nursing me and tutoring and teaching us since we were kids. Teaching us about film making since we were kids and about telling jokes, so it was very early on, so I was kind of blessed in that way."
AllHipHop: How does this film fit into your family's legacy of films and do you think about you family's legacy at all when you are making these movies, or do you just do the film?
Marlon Wayans: "I just do the movie, I don't really think about my legacy or where I will be or what I will become, I just put my head down and I just work and do whats in my heart and do it as best as I can, and as long as I can. When it's all said and done, people can label me and who I am and my place in history. For me we can't make history trying to make history, we just do the work."
AllHipHop: Ok, so one of the funny parts of the film that's gotten a lot of attention is when a group of church going black women confront you on your front step about having married a white woman. Can you talk about how and why you included this in your film.
Marlon Wayans: "I think its important when you do movies like that you include the perspective of... - you know - look having a white girl as the lead girl in the movie is a bold step, there's so many interracial couple nowadays, so it's not so much about ignoring the Black perspective, but this is a big thing, so paying attention to it kind of eased the tension of it."
AllHipHop: What was it like working with Cedric the Entertainer?
Marlon Wayans: "Working with Cedric was fun. Cedric is he's a funny dude. The thing about Ced is you say, 'Ced do this,' and he can do it. He's funny as all hell, he improvises and for me that's all I look for. I say, 'Go for it' and I'll find a way to edit it and keep it. His best stuff I'll keep it."
AllHipHop: We talked with Ice Cube a few weeks ago about the role of Black actors in Hollywood. Whats your perspective on if things have changed over the years as far as the opportunities available for black actors?
Marlon Wayans: "I don't think its changed much, I think what people are starting to do is more writing and trying to get it done. But it hasn't changed much, there's not that many roles still for brothers, you get a movie every now and again, there's a part here or there and an ensemble piece twice a year with Black people in it, but I still think there's a lack of diversity, but I stick to what I do on my end. But I write produce so I can act. So, I don't complain about it, I just do the work man."
AllHipHop: Is there anything What can fans look forward to on the DVD, there's probably some pretty funny outtakes, anything else you want to tell fans?
Marlon Wayans: "Theres outtakes, there's 12 extended scenes in there, and a bunch of stuff thats's not in the movie, make sure you check it out. Also make sure to check out my new show 'Funniest Wins,' it's on TBS , its comedy competition reality show and the winner gets a show on my digital network WhatTheFunny.com.
You gotta check it out man, its on TBS every Friday night, everybody is talking about it, it's a new way to do a sketch show, its a competition reality show and it's really funny, every week the ratings continue to climb. Every week the Viners and YouTuber's battle it out.
AllHipHop: Do you ever pull anything from the In Living Color Days?
Marlon Wayans: Well definitely, I was taught by the best and I'm teaching these guys and I challenge the new comedians to be better, its a good thing to help comedians learn. I'm giving them tools to learn and make them better.