Marlon Wayans on Fifty Shades of Black, having drinks with E.L. James
The sexy follow-up to Fifty Shades of Grey has arrived — sort of. Marlon Wayans, who brought you the Scary Movie franchise, is fusing sexual sadism and his offbeat sense of humor in a spoof aimed at viewers who found kinky billionaire Christian Grey as lame as he did.
“He’s really bad in bed; he’s pretty basic,” Wayans says. “So I thought it’d be a pretty funny take, like, ‘What if he was black? Every time the [original film] had something serious or intense, we put a joke there.'”
Wayans — who co-wrote the script — stars as Christian Black, a shady businessman and ex-stripper attracted to Hannah (Kali Hawk), a spunky reporter who has a three-spank-maximum rule.
“She’s a black girl, and black women don’t play that s–t,” says Wayans, laughing. “They’re only going to deal with so much before they’re like, ‘No, time out.'”
And that’s not the only difference between his female protagonist and the naïve ingénue played by Dakota Johnson in last year’s release.
“Our Hannah has a little more edge,” shares Wayans. “She resets this position of how guys think they can get girls to do anything. It’s empowering for women and humbling for guys, since Christian has his comeuppance. At the end of the day, the girl always wins …It’s not a blue planet, it’s a pink planet and girls rule the world.”
But Wayans’ spoof isn’t lacking for NSFW material, with raunchy jokes about race (Christian’s whips are named after slave movies), and sexuality.
“Black guys are like G.I. Joes,” says Wayans, laughing. ‘That’s why white women like the brothers. It’s because we move different. There’s a lot more control. We don’t need the toys. We can be into that, but brothers are the toys. Black guys, we got the magic.”
Though Wayans doesn’t share Christian’s preference for bedroom gadgets (“I was so unimpressed by his skill set sexually in the movie,” he jokes. “I did that in high school!”), fans of Fifty Shades will find that his version of the infamous Red Room has plenty by way of bespoke accessories.
“It was a lot of fun to recreate our own version of the Red Room,” says the White Chicks star. “The tortuous things we do …Nothing’s off limits.”
So what does Grey author E. L. James — whom Wayans bonded with over “gallons” of red wine at L.A. hot spot Chateau Marmont — think about it all?
“She was like, ‘Did you take the piss out of my book?’ I was like, ‘We took the piss, the poop, the boogers, we took it all out,'” Wayans says. “She went, ‘Well, in that case, I’ll let my kids see it.'” Um, but only if they’re over 17, of course.