Exclusive: Marlon Wayans talks ‘A Haunted House,’ set to play Sandra Bullock’s love interest in ‘Heat’
Marlon Wayans talks ‘A Haunted House,’ set to play Sandra Bullock’s love interest in ‘Heat’
By Wilson Morales
October 22, 2012
Most recently the trailer to Marlon Wayans‘ upcoming horror-spoof film, ‘A Haunted House,’ was released on online.
Written by and starring Wayans, the film also stars Cedric the Entertainer, Essence Atkins, Affion Crockett, David Koechner and Nick Swardson.
In an outrageous send up of the Paranormal Activity movies, The Devil Inside and other “found footage” movies, ‘A Haunted House’ features young couple Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Kisha (Essence Atkins) who have just moved in to their dream house. As they settle in, they quickly find they’re not alone. But it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s Malcolm’s girlfriend who is possessed by a demon. Malcolm hires everyone from a priest to modern day ghostbusters to rid her of this unwelcome intruder, determined not to let the evil spirit ruin his relationship… or, more importantly, his sex life.
The film was directed by Michael Tiddes (Dance Flick) and will open on Jan. 11, 2013.
In speaking exclusively with Blackfilm.com, Wayans talks about ‘Haunted House,’ working with Essence Atkins, and playing Sandra Bullock’s love interest in ‘Heat.’
How did this project come up for you?
Marlon Wayans: I was watching ‘Paranormal Activity 2′ and there was the usual cliché stuff we see in films and I thought what if Black people experience a paranormal activity? This would be a short film and I found a way to make the movie an hour and a half and really funny. This is a horror comedy, not a parody and it’s more of a send up and essentially a paranormal activity that happens to a black couple.
Do you think people may think of this as another version from the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise?
MW: No, but we were the first ones that started that franchise. We brought in that freshness of parody. The parody is pretty much a dead genre. I had my success in parody with ‘Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood,’ ‘Scary Movie’ and ‘Scary Movie 2′ and for me, I wanted to do something different and we did a horror comedy. We didn’t do a desperate type of parody. There’s some parody moments in there, but our film is grounded in the reality. It’s closer to some of the stuff we did in ‘Scary Movie’ in terms of the basics and the jokes are broader through the experience and the characters and not just through a visual guide.
Are there any films that you are poking fun at?
MW: We’re not making fun of any particular movie. It’s more of the found footage horror genre that we’re making fun. There are moments from ‘Paranormal Activity’ that we found funny ways to let our characters experience it. Films like ‘The Devil Inside,’ ‘Insidious,’ ‘The Last Exorcism’ and all those types of found footage horror films sort of lends itself to our movie. We wanted to show how black people react when this stuff occurs to them.
What did you find challenging as a writer?
MW: Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve written for the screen. I had written on six to seven films already. This is part of what I do and it’s actually easier for me. As a writer, I can be on set with the cast and fix the jokes while it’s being played out. If the joke isn’t funny, we can make it funnier. We’re punching up the material as we’re going. I’m not one of those protective writers who worry about changes in the script. I’m the guy who hands you the blueprint and wants to go out and have fun.
You get to work with Essence Atkins and Affion Crocket again. What was that experience like?
MW: Essence is a superwoman. She had given birth five weeks before and she came in. She had just got the stitches out so I have nothing but respect for her. Affion is a guy that I know if I give him an inch, he will take a kilometer. He’s just one of those performers and the same thing goes with Cedric (the Entertainer), David Koechner and Nick Swardson as well. I was blessed with a great cast. I felt like LeBron playing with the Heat. There are so many people you can toss the ball to and you can just watch them slam dunk it. I was just happy and blessed with the cast that we got.
What’s going to set this apart from other horror-comedy films?
MW: I think this one is really funny and it’s based on a genre that we haven’t seen lampooned yet. We haven’t seen anyone do a found footage comedy. This is the first of its kind; so what sets it apart is that we found a way to do a found footage comedy in the style that they do found footage movies but we did an over-the-plate studio released comedy. These are jokes that hit everybody.
How did you get Michael Tiddes to direct the film?
MW: Tiddes came up from our camp. He’s been around since before ‘Little Man’ and ‘White Chicks.’ Michael was the guy that came up under us so it was a natural evolution. On this movie, it’s the three-headed beast with me, Mike, and Rick Alvarez (producer of Scary Movie 2 and Little Man). The three of us really trusted each other and had six eyes on the movie. I think we got something really special because it’s something different that hasn’t been done. I love being the first guy to the party.
Is there anything you have coming up after this? I thought you were going to be in the next G.I Joe film?
MW: Nope. At first I was upset not to be in the G.I Joe sequel, but if I had been, I wouldn’t have been able to do this movie. For me, this movie means so much. It was a lot of fun to do. This was a maturity for me. This is me going out on my own and doing my own thing. I grew up. This is like Janet Jackson’s Control album.
MW: I have a comedy coming up with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy called ‘The Heat.’ I play Sandra’s love interest. We have chemistry but we’re not actually having sex; you can just tell our characters like each other.