Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie film franchise, Norbit, White Chicks) takes the helm directing and starring in the raucous comedy feature, A HAUNTED HOUSE, bringing his unleashed humor to full measure with no holds barred. The tale centers on a couple who decides to live together and take their relationship to the next level. The scary part unfolds when “the house” they’re living in is haunted forcing the loving couple to defend themselves from flying objects, butt-kicks, strange occurrences, lewd acts and frightful events all making for jaw-dropping surprises and laughs out loud. Essence Atkins (of TV’s Are We There Yet?) costars.
I sat down with Wayans in San Francisco to discuss A HAUNTED HOUSE along with the legacy of his close-knit and successful entertainment family.
Sandra Varner (Talk2SV): The hilarity of this movie makes you laugh and the boldness makes you say, ‘oh no, he didn’t do that!’ There is also the very kind and sweet side of Marlon Wayans that I’ve seen in other professional settings; explain the side of your mind that made this daring film.
Wayans: It’s funny that you say that because I was saying that to someone earlier before we sat down; I wanted to do a movie to make people go, ‘oh no he didn’t!’ It’s a combination, but it’s all me. I am very sweet but I have a very sick sense of humor. But it doesn’t change the kind person, I am always a gentleman, but I just have a twisted sense of humor. I think that’s what makes me different and I got to express it in this movie.
Talk2SV: Yes, you certainly did (laughter). Two things that I noticed right away, clearly your physicality is equal to your creativity. You use your body equally as an instrument of your comedy. Tell me about your obviously healthy lifestyle. What is your eating and exercise regime?
Wayans: I literally work out five to six days a week. Right now, I’m doing cross fitness but I change it up. There was a time when I did the Insanity™ program and as a matter of cat, did Insanity to prepare for this movie. I’m doing cross fit because I need a little bit more muscle to do some of the things that I do. I’m going to start doing more yoga and stretching because you’re right my body is my instrument so I have to make sure that it is in tip top shape to do some of the things; I need endurance so I work out before my movies to prepare for what I’m about to go through.
Talk2SV: Insanity™ is intense!
Wayans: It’s all mental. It’s crazy how powerful your mind is. At first, it’s very hard but after the first two weeks you find yourself saying, ‘wow, I can do this!’ When it starts feeling easier to do, the program steps a notch and it gets even crazier, but you should do it. I think everybody should do one of those work out tapes to learn how to self-motivate and to get in the habit of working out to be healthy. Especially to eat right, it requires discipline; eat clean because sugar and all that stuff causes diabetes. The only sugar I have is a little bit of wine, other than that; I’m cool on sweet things and such. I’ll have a little cake now and then or I’ll treat myself occasionally but my every day regime is fish, vegetables, brown rice or chicken, a sweet potato a green vegetable or salads. I eat pretty clean. My brother (Keenen) taught me that. I take my vitamins every day. My body is my instrument and when I turn 60, I want to look 40. Reporter’s note: Wayans turned 40 last July and doesn’t look a day over 28.
Talk2SV: I’ve interviewed several Wayans over the years…
Wayans: Probably, there are about 2,736,000 – we’re a population at this point (laughter).
Talk2SV: I say that to say how impressive your family dynasty is, more so, that your family’s success was built from the ground up, you being an example of that. Does it feel like a dynasty?
Wayans: No, it feels like a family doing a family business in the thing that we love to do, we love to make people laugh. That’s like our oil, that’s our zeal and I’m glad people are able to look at my family as a dynasty. Maybe we should look at ourselves more like that, but then, I think that would change how we do things. I think it would make us too responsible; it would take away from the naughty side because I think that it’s the irresponsible aspect that makes us hilarious. I think the responsibility that we have for each other and within our family makes people love us. When you look at our family, we genuinely love each other. I understand the Jacksons and all that they go through…when Janet slapped Paris, I say that’s a good auntie because if something happened to me and my kid got out of place, please Elvira (his older sister) slap the hell out of mine and let her know, ‘no, it ain’t going down like that boo boo.’ That’s how we do it in the Wayans household, so I’m not mad, I get it. We’re a beautiful. We are a beautiful black family that loves each other and I hope that love inspires people. I love the fact that when people talk about our family, they also talk about the Kennedy’s, the Jacksons, the Osmonds, etc. I love that those type legacies are successful in their own right because I know that they inspire. The Jacksons inspired us to be the Wayans, now being the Wayans, I am glad people can look at us and go, ‘I want to work with my brothers and sisters and build a family business.’