By Kelly D. Harrington
Marlon Wayans is not a wine aficionado. “That’s just a fancy way to say, ‘Hey, I’m a drunk,’” he jokes. But he will admit to being a master of creating gutbusting films that draw multitudes to theaters.
Wayans touts his latest project, A Haunted House, as a horror comedy—a step away from a parody. “Whether you’ve seen some of the movies that we’re lampooning or not, you don’t have to,” says the now 40-year-old spawn of the famous Wayans family of actors, which includes Keenen Ivory, Kim, Damon, Shawn, and Damon, Jr. “It’s Paranormal Activity with black people… And a movie onto itself.”
Urban parodies have become their own monster (“bastardized” according to Marlon) since the days of the Wayans’ farce Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. But the brothers can certainly claim dibs as pioneers in the genre. Their formula has been imitated, but never precisely duplicated. And now Marlon is creating the next generation of comedic films.
As an artist, he is ever evolving. Within the past two years, Wayans and his brother Shawn have taken on stand-up comedy touring the country, and now it is part of his permanent repertoire. His journey to stand-up began when he was picked for the title role in the currently on-hold Richard Pryor biopic. He caught the bug and loved it. “It’s funny that getting the call to play my idol would be the thing that got me onstage to bring me to the thing I love most, which is comedy.”
Favorite places to eat while home in New York: Katz’s Deli, Abe & Arthur’s, Nobu, & Spice Market
Best dish eaten recently: “In LA I went to Mastro’s Steakhouse, and I had the cowboy rib eye, and I think I orgasmed on myself.”
Favorite Wine: Blue Eyed Boy by Mollydooker