Marlon Wayans, the youngest member of the Wayans showbiz clan, is currently starring with Jeremy Irons and Thora Birch in ”Dungeons & Dragons,” a movie based on the popular role playing game. He also acted in and cowrote the summer smash ”Scary Movie” (new on DVD) with his brother Shawn. The slasher spoof, directed by Wayans’ oldest brother, Keenan Ivory, is Miramax-Dimension’s highest grossing movie to date, having sliced up $157 million at the box office since its July debut. The brothers are currently working on a sequel due out next summer. EW.com caught up with Marlon and grilled him on ”D & D,” ”Scary Movie 2,” and life in a hitmaking comic family.
The reviews for ”Dungeons & Dragons” have been pretty harsh. Are you upset?
I don’t have a beef with critics; it’s their job to critique a movie. Some are going to like it and some are going to hate it. All I can say is a lot of them hated ”Scary Movie” — [and it’s] $150 million later. Hey, the audience has to go for what they know.
Harry Knowles of Aint It Cool News said of you in his review of ”D & D”: ”Somebody cast Jar Jar [Binks] as a small time thief … called Snails.”
Ah, s—. Tell him ‘no, thank you’ on that one. But everybody’s performance is over the top. My role is the comic relief and I provide the laughter. I’m not Jar Jar Binks, but I definitely have a lot of energy in the movie.
You play a thief who falls for a 200 year old elf [Kristen Wilsen]. Did any of your scenes get cut?
No. I didn’t have a love scene with the elf. I wanted to. I would love to have some elf ass on screen, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.
What was it like filming in the Czech Republic?
The worst part about Prague was I was the only black guy. I was a celebrity there not because I was Marlon Wayans, but because I was known as the black guy. ‘Hey, Black Guy, can I get your autograph?’ My stuntman was a white guy in black face. Al Jolson was my stuntman. I ended up doing most of my own stunts like Blackie Chan.
This year you’ve played a stoner, a junkie, and now a thief. Do you feel like you’re being typecast?
The white guy [Justin Whalin] in the movie is a thief too, so at least I got to be a stereotype with him. Some brothers are going to look at it and go, ‘See, he’s a thief. How can there be a stereotype in a fantasy movie? They even exist in a whole other world.’
Joel Silver, who produced ”The Matrix,” is also the executive producer of ”D & D.” Did you ask him for a role in the ”Matrix” sequels?
I was going to beg and commence fellatio on him to get a part, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.
Sorry to hear that.
He would have had a great time, but that would be a whole other kind of ”Matrix.” I met with the Wachowski brothers and I told them how talented I thought they were, but I’m not even available. I’m doing ”Scary Movie 2” with the Wayans-chowski brothers.
I heard Keenan made you and Shawn rewrite ”Scary Movie” 20 times. How’s the sequel coming?
We start filming in February and we’ll be out in theaters by July 4. We’re trying to make that quick money…. [Now] Keenan’s driving us crazy for the first draft. He’s a black slave driver.
You and Shawn are also working on an animated project called ”Roaches,” which has been described as ”West Side Story” with insects.
Basically, it’s like ”A Bug’s Life” or ”Antz,” but every bug represents a different race. The roaches represent the brothers and the wasps are white. It’s an interracial love story between a roach and a wasp. We got some Spanish flies in there, a couple of fruit flies for the gay community. It’s a melting pot.
So who’s the most talented Wayans?
My mother is hilarious, but only when she’s mad. She’s Richard Pryor with breasts.
And what’s a Wayans family dinner like?
We can’t fit in the house no more; there are too many people. It’s got to be in a stadium — we had Thanksgiving at the Staples Center.
If you weren’t in showbiz, what would you be doing?
I’d be a really funny homeless man.