Marlon Wayans talks about his new movie and his desire to play Richard Pryor

What the hell happened to the Google Maps

thing you use on your iPhone app-thing? It used to work pretty good, but there have been some "updates" to my phone and Google and stuff, and I used it to guide me to the place where they do all the "press events" in Washington, D.C., because I always get lost in D.C., and the Google put me in ever-widening circles around my destination when I was a few minutes away.


So: I was late for my interview with Marlon Wayans, who is a member of the Wayans family of famous comedic entertainers, and he is currently starring in


but I didn't see


, and they (and you know who They are) didn't let me see a preview of this



film, but c'mon, it's a comedy about a haunted house, another one, or the same one, anyway, you get the picture, and you probably already know if you want to go see it, but in the interests of furthering my career as an interviewer of people who want you to go see their Filmed Entertainments, go see this movie! Even if you don't want to!

After the MOVIE PEOPLE moved stuff around and I waited a bit in the swanky hotel lobby, it turned out Marlon Wayans' schedule had five minutes left for me. Usually you get like, 20 minutes. I was late, so I'm not complaining, just saying. I rolled into the hotel interview-suite with my SONY PCM-M10 running, along with my backup SONY ICD-P330F and my phone, recording. I am paranoid about forgetting to push the "REC" button properly. I don't remember what Mr. Wayans was wearing. He looked very relaxed. There had been some earlier disturbance out in the hall about acquiring some plastic bags, so I resisted the urge to make some sort of hotel room asphyxiation joke, until now. Anyway!


City Paper: This is good, like, the last one was eight minutes, with Rancic.* This one'll be five minutes.

* I interviewed Bill Rancic, who was on

The Apprentice

, and has a new teevee show about

Kitchen Casino

on the Food Network, but this publication "passed," so if you are interested, I could let you have-at a Reasonable Rate-eight captivating minutes of me with Bill Rancic of


Movie Publicity Person: Yeah, you can make it work. Your "key questions!" Better than just turning around and going home!

CP: Yeah. I woulda been fine with that too, though. (Laughs)

MPP: (Laughs)


MPP: [to another movie person] (Unintelligible whispering) . . . plastic bags (unintelligible) checking the bags they don't have single bags. [To

City Paper

] (Whispering) Joe, hi, you're literally gonna have five minutes.

CP: I know.

AMP: (Unintelligible whispering)

CP: I'm goin' in hot, goin' in hot.

Yet Another Movie Person: Joe?

CP: Yep!

YAMP: Come in with me?

CP: 'kay.

YAMP: Mr. MacLeod; Marlon Wayans.

CP: Alright, I'm comin' in hot, I got five minutes!

YAMP: Five minutes.

CP: (Apologizing for being late) Sorry.

Marlon Wayans: How you doin' bro?

CP: Google Maps steered me wrong, and here I am, and I got five minutes and I hope you got your plastic bag situation straightened out.

MW: You're actually on time, for me.

CP: OK, good.

MW: I'm black.

CP: (sotto voce) Oh, really, we're goin' there?

MW: (Laughs)

CP: Oh, man, you always have, though


White Girls.*


A 2004 comedy about a pair of black male FBI agents who dress up as white girls to protect some white girls, but that's not even the name of the movie exactly. Also: It grossed 70 million dollars in the United States.

MW: Yeah.

CP: White Girls woulda been a much better "R" rated movie, though.


CP: White CHICKS, I'm sorry-

MW: Actually, no, because-

CP: (Repeating title again as if somehow that erases saying the title incorrectly two times, but what does Marlon Wayans care, that thing grossed 70 mil!) White Chicks.

MW: -it may have been too crass for women. Guys

woulda liked it better, but a large part of the female audience really liked the fact that we walked the line.

CP: Because you were gentle.

MW: Yeah, if we went to "R," it woulda made it a boys movie, and that was more of a chick flick-but not really-but I just think it made us behave. And I think it had a broader appeal because of that if we went 'R," it'd have been funnier, in some places-

CP: But it wouldn'ta done as well.

MW: Wouldn'ta done as well.

CP: Yeah.

MW: No.

CP: Yeah, because of course, I just wanted to see the whole Terry Crews thing, go to-

MW: Go all the way down? (laughs)

CP: -its logical extreme, so to speak.

MW: (Laughs) You wanted to see that, I didn't.

CP: Well, I want to see it happen to somebody else.

MW: That's one scene I wouldn't. (Laughs)

CP: So, um, you're like Hollywood royalty, and I wanna commend you and your entire family for uh, doing your work, and your entertainment and stuff, and not being a buncha fuckups who end up in the paper or in publicity, organs, magazines-

MW: We try not to.

CP: You guys are amazing. What is your secret to doing that, is there like a tremendous faith center here or is it just a good family of level-headed people?

MW: I think two-three things. One, great parenting. My mom and dad are wonderful, they're still here, so we're very responsive and very respectful to our parents.

CP: Were they artsy?

MW: My mother is artsy, my dad, he's just a hard worker. So I think we got the combination of the two. Two, I don't think we do it for fame? We do it for the fun, we do it because we


it. We're like Alaska, we haven't really dug into the oil reserves yet.



MW: And, you know we're not, we're known for what we do, we've never been known for who we do. Who we date, and all that stuff. That's unimportant, my personal life is not important.

CP: That's great, I don't, there's a certain amount of attention that gets paid to that stuff, that filters into your head anyway, and you guys are like: Nothing.

MW: Fame has changed. People are doing things to be loud and be boisterous, and be crazy, because they want that kinda fame, and that's the trend right now, but I'm a believer in things coming back, they reset, they balance out, everybody wants to go do the new trend. I'm a guy-it's like the


-I knew it was comin' back-


CP: Really?

MW: -but I'm just gonna stay with this haircut-naw, I'm just joking-we never seek that kind of fame, plus, we check each other, if I'm out there my brothers call me, I still feel like-I'm 40-I'll get punched in my chest, so out of respect for each other, we check each other, like, "Yo, you can't do that." We often do. So it's good, it's good to have each other, because we understand what one another's going through and we can empathize, and we respect each other because we're all in the same situation.

CP: You guys are amazing for staying off the radar, man. Just showing up when it's time to get paid.

MW: When it's time for a movie, I go to the press, when it's not time for a movie, I'm a pretty chill dude, I don't even show up to red carpet stuff. And I'm not running from press; oftentimes,

will see me, they'll ask me a question, I'll say something funny, and I'll leave. I don't need to get caught up in scandals and all that, punchin' people and beatin' up paparazzi, nah, I'll hit a paparazzi, and he'll kick my ass, you don't want the wrong press! (laughs)

CP: Have you done any serious stuff?

MW: I did

with Darren Aronofsky and I thought that was a great dive into drama, I worked with the Coen Brothers on

, it was more of a comedy, with a little hint of drama in it, but, I'd love to do, like, the Richard Pryor story. I did a great drama with my brother Damon that he never released, and it was a tragedy, a dark drama about comedy. And it was such a dope film, it was a great-if I say so myself-great performance, but he just decided he wasn't gonna put it out. It was called

. So I feel like, either way, that didn't happen, it was that, and doing standup now as preparation, if I ever wind up doing the Pryor role, if I do Richard Pryor, then everything happened, I believe, in alchemy-it happened for a reason.

CP: Is that, I mean, are you angling for that?

MW: I had it, and then they changed directors, it's Lee Daniels now (

Precious, Lee Daniels' The Butler)

, and Lee's gonna have his choice, and make his choice on who he wants, and I learned a long time ago, the one thing I can't change is a director's mind. You gotta kinda respect their vision, and honestly, you can't get upset, if it's not you, you just gotta go, "That wasn't his vision." As an actor, you are a mannequin in a director's world, and a producer's world. Whoever he wants, that's who it's gonna be, I just know I've been preparing for it, and if the day happens, I'll rock it.

CP: Wow! OK, [LOOKS AT YAMP] you're tellin' me we're done, huh? [LEANS IN TO RECORDING DEVICE] Lee Daniels! Hire this guy for this Richard Pryor biopic, please, OK?

MW: You heard the man, Lee!