Marlon Wayans on Comedy: "I Don't Mind Wearing a Dress"
Marlon just completed working on a movie tentatively called Smart Ass, he's producing a TV show staring two of his nephews, and is taking a less jokey role with Sandra Bullock in The Heat. The actor and comedian took time to talk to us about growing up in a crazily talented family, checking out J.Lo's butt on In Living Color (which he fondly referred to as "comedy college"), and what it's like being a black man playing a white woman.
New Times: Our web editor wanted me to mention that White Chicks is one of his favorite movies of all time. Do you have other White Chicks groupies?
Marlon Wayans: White Chicks doesn't have groupies, White Chicks has a crazy cult-following. It's kind of scary, cause everywhere I go, White Chicks is the one movie that everybody wants us to do a sequel to.
Did you feel weird about doing white face? That's not something that's been done very often. Except by, I guess, Eddie Murphy.
It wasn't so much white face, that's old school terminology. I don't think of it as white face, black face, I think of funny as funny and I don't mind wearing a dress and making comedy. You do what you've gotta do to sell a joke. There's no vanity in comedy. That's what my brother always says. When it comes time to do that stuff, it's just a transition that you make, it's just a decision that you make. I think race is something scared people put on things. For me, it's about exploring the race, exploring the gender and coming up with the common thread, which is laughter.
Although it's called White Chicks, the movie played on some of the racial things, but really it was a gender specific film. It was a culture clash, and that's what we kind of played on. It was universal. And I didn't look at it as much as, let's attack white people, or let's making fun of black people. It was more or less, we tell jokes and we are equal opportunity offenders. Everybody gets a little of everything, so we all feel good.
So, will there be a White Chicks 2?
I don't know. I would say I would love to do a sequel to that, but it was so much work. It's hard being a white woman when you're a black man.