Marlon Wayans has so many titles right now: actor, comedian, writer, producer and that’s just to name a few, how did he find time to write, produce, and shoot his newest parody, A Haunted House 2, the sequel to follow last year’s (2013) comedy/horror debut?
Marlon, who plays Malcolm in the movie along with cast-mates Affion Crockett (Ray-Ray) and Gabriel Iglesias (Miguel) sat in for a Q&A panel discussion with audience members after a special screening of the movie at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas in New York. Having to turn folks away, organizers for the event had a packed house of spectators ready to indulge in some good ole comedy. After the screening, Marlon, Affion and Gabriel opened the floor for a Q&A discussion, which turned out to be more like a mini-comedy show. The comedians took every opportunity to turn a question into a joke as questions from the audience popped .
Q: What was the writing process like for this one?
Normally I just watch a bunch of movies with my pen and pad, I always do the same thing, I’ll sit with my partner Rick Alvarez or just write jokes and we just brainstorm. I’ll see something in like a horror movie and I’ll think of jokes, I see the craziest things. For this one, I approached it from a story progression. Where would Malcolm be? Where was a fun place to put Malcolm? So I put him with the white family; I thought it was something that we haven’t seen – interracial couples, and I wanted to get everyone’s point of view of dealing with a ghost. The white and black perspectives, and then the latino neighbor. Once I found the story, then the hooks and through-lines, the thing with the doll, when I saw The Conjuring – I was like this little creepy bitch, what if I bang her?
Q: How much of the movie was improv?
It was close to like 60-40 or maybe 70-30, which is a lot of improv. We did a written version but it was basically only used as a blueprint. I had a great cast, Affion, Cedric…, I don’t have to tell those guys how to be funny. Just be funny.
Q: What was it like for you first getting into doing Stand-Up Comedy?
It’s scary when you first start doing stand-up, because you are standing on stage trying to find what’s funny. In front of a crowd waiting on you to be funny, it’s nerve wracking at first, but once you get used to it, prepare a bit, once you have something you want to say, it’s a lot easier. It becomes like riding a bike. Honestly, I think doing stand up made me a better writer and a better performer, so I’m so happy I did it, even though I started doing it when I was 38.
Q: What was your favorite part about filming this movie?
Anytime I get to work with Marlon man, I don’t know how far back you all go back with Marlon’s work, but when he first got on In Living Color he was a young-buck. He did a Snuff and Roam impression, trying to get into the club – that was the first time I saw a Wayan’s who was young and into Hip Hop, I was already fans of Keenan and Damon, but I identified more with Marlon. Long story short, now me and him are homies, we have similar thinking in the way we do comedy. So it’s always good when he can say look dude, there’s going to be some dead people in the house, just walk through and free style whatever you want to do. For me, just being able to improv all them lines is great.
Q: Tell us about the energy on set being around all these comedians.
There was a lot of energy in this movie from beginning to end, I mean from the moment you get on the set, Marlon shows us the script and once we get that down, he gives you a lot of opportunities to shine on your own, whatever we want to do, just make sure it’s funny. I like the feeling of working with people like Marlon who doesn’t hog up all the laughter, glory, and attention., he makes it so we all get to shine.
Sounds like it must have been so fun filming with these guys. I surely couldn’t stop laughing with all the takes that actually did make it to the big screen, I can only imagine what the alternative’s were like. The movie comes out in theaters next Friday, April 18. Be sure to go check that out.