Marlon Wayans Interview: Sextuplets

Sextuplets, which arrives on Netflix on August 16th, provides six times the Marlon Wayans. The film also guarantees laughs courtesy of Bresha Webb, Michael Ian Black, and Molly Shannon – but it’s Wayans’ comedic genius that ties the story together. The actor shared his not-so-method process with Screen Rant and offered himself up as DC’s next big hero.

Marlon, congratulations on the film. This is a ton of fun. It's really funny, but one thing that I don't want to go overlooked is your actual performance because you get lost into these roles. There were times where I was watching it, and I almost forgot that you were playing all these other roles. What went into crafting those characters?

Marlon Wayans: I mean, it's funny. When I’d first seen the movie, that's the one thing that I was – not concerned with, but that's the one thing I said, “If I forget the fact that I'm playing me and all these roles, the movie will work.”

Each character was so different. The minute Alan meets Russell, you feel like you met somebody completely different. There was no Marlon in Russell. There was a little bit of Marlon in Alan, but for the most part, each character is so different. And I think what I started with was the voice and the soul. And then from there, even the mannerisms, I made sure each one of them had a different walk. They all had a different talk, a different body language, different structure. You know, Ethan was more like, “Damn.” Like that, you know. Dawn was all up in here [in a head voice] and all her gestures were like that. And then Russell, he's keeping to himself so he's more or less here [in a quiet voice]. Jaspar, he always has some evil thoughts going on [with a low growl]. And then Baby Pete [in an airy voice], he was sick, they thought.

Everyone, I just gave a voice and a soul. Because, before I put the makeup on, I didn't want it to be the gimmick of the makeup. I wanted to make the soul of the character, and then put the flesh on top. So, once I got the voices and I knew they were and I knew how they would improvise, it was kind of easy for me to do. It was hard, but easy.

It’s great. Like I said, you almost completely disappear in the roles. Another thing, too, is this film was shot pretty quickly. 51 days roughly. Can you talk to me about that process? Because that's a quick turnaround, and you were really acting against yourself.

Marlon Wayans: It's a lot of hours. I would come into work at like three o'clock in the morning. I would do makeup for seven hours, I come out of makeup, and I would film for 16 to 18 hours. I would take an hour and a half to take the makeup off. I would go home, and I would sleep for two and a half hours. And I'd be the first one back at set, sitting in makeup, getting my makeup done. And doing it all again for 51 days.

That's the only way we get a movie done like this. We only had a $20 million budget, so we’re using [mo-cap] and all these visual effects, but if the only way you can get this movie down was if I wasn't gonna sleep for 50 days.

Marlon Wayans in Sextuplets

Did you stay in character when you were in the process of filming? 

Marlon Wayans: No. Soon as you said, “Cut!” I’m not method in terms of the process, right? I use all my Performing Arts High School method acting in this to create the characters, but once I finished creating them, I could jump in and jump out. Not everybody can do that, but for me, that's just my process. Because Marlon, I like to have fun when I'm on set. I don't want to be Russell.

Sometimes to play with the set, you know, I would joke and be Russell by staying in character. It would make the set laugh, so I would do that then. But for the most part, when they said, “Cut?” I'm back Marlon.

There's something I've been dying to ask you for 20 years now. You were rumored to be up for Batman and Robin way back in the day. Last night at dinner, you and I spoke about superhero films, and you mentioned something I had never thought of, but I think it's brilliant: Plastic Man. You would like to play Plastic Man at some point. What would be your take on him?

Marlon Wayans: I would love to play Plastic Man. I think he works with the comedic skill set that I have, in terms of how I'm physical, I'm bendy. And I think it'd be cool to just do it without... You know, what's great about Black Panther is he's a black superhero, right? But sometimes [it's fun] to just do something, like, you wouldn't think Plastic Man was a black guy. But he's not black - it's just, he's plastic.

So, I think it'd be fun for me, because I know I get to add my humor to it. The only two superheroes I ever really wanted to play was Plastic Man and The Mask. Those are the two superhero films I would love to play.

Well, congratulations on this film. It's hilarious and your performance is amazing. Thank you so much for your time.

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