Marlon Wayans comes from a family that is synonymous with comedy. The actor/writer/director/"model producer" (we'll get to that later) first struck comedic gold when he teamed up with his siblings 13 years ago for "Scary Movie," which laid the groundwork for a lucrative series (#5 drops in April).
"A Haunted House," in theaters Jan. 11, once again gets its kicks from the horror/comedy combo. In the film, Wayans and Essence Atkins play a couple who discover some paranormal activity in their home, and what happens after they set up cameras around the house is ridonkulous.
We find out if Wayans has ever seen a ghost... and whose head he would like to poop on.
You and your family pretty much pioneered successful horror-comedy spoof films. Why do people love them so much?
I think when it's done right, it's a way to enjoy a horror without being scared to death. You're gonna feel two different kinds of emotions, and sometimes when you get a laugh, it makes you a little less nervous about being scared so it puts you at ease. And with ["A Haunted House"], you didn't know what the hell you were gonna see. You open the door, you don't know what's gonna happen — is it gonna be a Mandingo party or a demon? My son and my daughter, [who are] 10 and 12, they were sitting there [at the premiere] and they would cover their eyes, and I'd say, “It's okay, it's just a Mandingo party."
It seems like you and the cast had a blast making this.
We did. We promised ourselves. We didn't have a budget, we didn't know what kind of cast we were gonna put together, but we did promise ourselves that every day we were going to have fun; every moment we were going to have fun. And we did.
After the L.A. screening, so many people were leaving the theater quoting one line: "What happened to yo furniture, cuz?"
They love that line! How crazy is that? Why that one line?
How much of the footage didn't make it into the final cut?
I'd say 65 hours of footage did not make it into the movie.
Any plans to include extras in the DVD release?
That'd be the longest DVD ever. It'd be longer than "The Ten Commandments" and "Gandhi" put together.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
No. I wish I did.
What do you expect it would look like?
If it could look like a person, that'd be cool. I just want to know that it exists, that there's life after death, and then I can be cool with dying. But until then, death scares me. I'm not gonna ask him no questions, I'm just gonna tell him to get the f**k out of my house.
What freaks you out?
[Long pause] I'm trying to think what freaks me out, and I'm going to all these dark places like, "What if I see someone get hit by a train?" Probably not. [Pause] Oh, you know what freaks me out? Watching bones get broken, 'cause it always feels like it's happening to me even though it's not. It's like, "Ahhhhhh!"
Do you ever check out your IMDB profile?
It says you’re a "model producer." How is that different from a regular producer?
I don't even know what the heck that is. Maybe I’m just that sexy that they refer to me [as a model].
What has been the standout moment in your career so far?
This ["A Haunted House"]. I was just really excited about it. Watching it play, I was just excited to have people see it and know that it came out of my crazy-ass head, and crazy-ass [producers] Rick Alvarez and Mike Tiddes. I grew up on this stuff.
What's the biggest lie you ever heard or read about yourself?
Probably that I'm gay.
Where'd you hear that?
Blog sites. People who have no business saying it. I always say it's probably somebody that slept with you, and you're like, "I don't want to bang her [any more]," [and they say] "He's gay. He's got to be gay." Well, maybe you're just not sexy. I say if I was gay, I'd be the biggest queen ever. I'd be super-queen. I'd be like Elton John-queen.
What’s your porn star name (first pet / street you grew up on)?
Shilow 16. Would you sleep with that guy?
That's kind of a sexy name ... or not. Do you have a favorite word?
Or what word do you use a lot?
Best piece of advice you ever got?
Success is the best revenge.
That's a good one. Who said that to you?
[My brother] Keenan. I was getting in a fight with this kid. I was so mad, I was gonna go stab the kid, and my brother and my dad wouldn't let me out of the house. Obviously, I lost the fight. I called my brother and I told him the kid beat me up and he said, "That's okay. Success is the best revenge. One day you'll be so successful, you could pay him to beat himself up." I'm looking for him, cause I got a nice check for him to beat himself up.
If you were a bird and could poop on anyone's head, who would you drop it on? You might want to think hard about this; apparently it's good luck.
I'd poop on my own head, hoping for a good opening day on January 11.