Exclusive: Essence Atkins Talks NBC’s Marlon, Airing on August 16

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Exclusive: Essence Atkins Talks NBC’s Marlon, Airing on August 16
Posted by Wilson Morales

August 1, 2017

Premiering tonight on NBC is their last comedy – Marlon Wayans‘ upcoming NBC comedy titled ‘Marlon’ premiering Wednesday, Aug. 16 (9/8c).

Loosely inspired by the real life of star Marlon Wayans (“In Living Color,” “Scary Movie”), this update to the classic family comedy centers on a loving (but immature) father committed to co-parenting his two kids with his very-together ex-wife (Atkins). While his misguided fatherly advice, unstoppable larger-than-life personality and unpredictable Internet superstardom might get in the way sometimes, for Marlon, family really always does come first – even if he’s the biggest kid of all.

The cast includes Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Notlim Taylor, Amir O’Neil, Bresha Webb and Diallo Riddle.

For Atkins, this is 5th time working with Wayans following Dance Flick, A Haunted House, A Haunted House 2 and a guest appearance on The Wayans Bros. TV show. Her last family sitcom was TBS’ ‘Are We There Yet?’ In speaking with Blackfilm.com, Atkins talks about her latest proect.

What was the attraction to doing Marlon?

Essence Atkins: My attraction starts with the title of the show. This is the 5th collaboration for me and Marlon. Initially when I met him it was 1995, so we’ve known each other a long time. There’s a lot of trust there. I’m playing his ex-wife. I feel that it’s a throwback sitcom in terms of its feel and at the same time, it’s a modern interpretation of what family is. We’re consciously “uncoupling” as the phrase was coined, but it’s not complicated. It’s not without hiccups. It’s not without frustrations, but it’s also not without love. This is still very much a family. It’s just a different kind of family.

How does all of that that we come to know in Marlon Wayans’ broad comedy, spoofs and all that, work on television? It works because he’s a YouTube personality. It’s a modern profession that he garners fame and fortune from being outrageous. So it makes perfect sense that he’s outrageous in life and you see that his ex-wife is drawn to it and in time you can see why it didn’t work; and why their relationship got complicated.

So, it very different from ‘Are We There Yet?’

Essence Atkins: Completely. It’s a totally different character and that’s what I love. I also love a lot of counterparts and women my age. They are trying to stay away from playing a mom, especially when you have a youthful energy about you and you really want to ride the pony of leading lady ingénue as long as you can. It makes perfect sense but for me, the stories are so much richer when you’re talking about women and what we go through in our 40s and as we approach our 40s, and what that does. Especially when sometimes you feel you are no longer relevant and you’re used to being to being the center of attention. How do you cope with that? That’s a story within itself that we can explore for a long time. I’m excited to upon all of these subjects on our show.

What else do you have coming up?

Essence Atkins: I’m working on a digital series with my co-star, where we travel across the country on road trips. We’ll be releasing that soon.

First Look (Sneak Peek)


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