Radio Bastard Presents: An Interview with Marlon Wayans
Jeremy and Jason also welcome Den of Geek US writer Chris Cummins back to the show for a discussion about the tremendous history of sketch comedy in the 1990s (including In Living Color, The State, Kids in the Hall, SNL, Mad TV, Mr. Show, Ben Stiller and more) and the awesome legacy of Robin Williams, whose death was still a bit fresh in our minds on Monday night when we recorded.
Here’s a report on the interview with Marlon Wayans, which you can hear in full above:
More than a decade passed between the release of Scary Movie 2 (the last film in that franchise to have a direct connection to the Wayans family) and Marlon Wayans’ Haunted House 2.
When we had a chance to speak with Marlon, we asked him about that delay and whether he was eager to jump back in to horror comedy:
“It wasn’t a desire to jump back in sooner because I didn’t see nothing that I wanted to kind of… I wasn’t inspired, I guess.”
When the found footage horror film Paranormal Activity came out, though, Wayans recognized it as a “whole new genre of filmmaking” and saw, in that genre, a way to do a horror comedy that would be a bit different.
Wayans is, of course, promoting the second Haunted House film right now, but when he went to the drawing board on the first movie, starting a franchise wasn’t the first thing on his mind.
“I think, when you make a movie, I don’t try to go, ‘Yeah this is gonna be a trilogy!’, I just try to write a funny movie and then hopefully get inspired to do a sequel and come with a brand new, fresh story that’s intriguing.”
According to Wayans, finding something “funny in such a dark place” stands as a challenge for him when making horror comedies, which he says are “not easy to mock”.
Besides the Scary Movie and Haunted House franchise, Wayans has also proven himself to be a talented dramatic actor in films like Requiem for a Dream and in the Coen Brothers’ darkly comedic film,The Ladykillers. For a while now, there have been rumors that Wayans might look to build on those successes and take on the role of Richard Pryor in a long-delayed bio-pic. We asked Wayans if he was still involved in the film.
“You know, I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see what happens. Right now, Lee Daniels is making his choice, so we’ll see.”
While Wayans couldn’t say if he was still going to play Pryor, he did let us know that he didn’t think that there would be pressure if he got the role. Instead, Wayans said that there would be excitement before talking about the general need to be prepared and “do your homework”, and how that would make it easier to be the character.
Honest, fearless and occasionally inflammatory on stage, one wonders how Richard Pryor would fair in this hyper-sensitive climate where hashtags are seemingly born weekly to rally against jokes and comedians that are testing boundaries and finding out what’s funny.
Last week, Marlon Wayans got into a little bit of trouble on Twitter for a joke that he cracked and since then, the comic has been open about why he was not sorry for what he said. Here’s a little bit of what he said to us when we discussed twitter controversies and comedy.
“If I get more oohs than I get laughs, then you know, maybe that’s something where I went too far, but still, it’s not something that I would apologize for because I think in comedy, you’ve got to be fearless. And I think you have to, you know, kinda just kinda go do and explore and not be afraid to fail.”
If you’d like to hear more from what Marlon had to say about Haunted House 2 (which is out now on DVD/Blu Ray), Richard Pryor and controversial comedy; as well as his thoughts on In Living Color‘s legacy, be sure to download or stream this latest episode of Radio Bastard: In Conversation.