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Marlon On “Marlon”

SBH Exclusive Interview! 

Actor/comedian Marlon Wayans shows SBH some love—along with his co-stars Essence Atkins and Bresha Webb featured in the current issue.

The new family comedy “Marlon” (premiering tonight on NBC 9/8c) is just as fun as its namesake star. Actor/comedian Marlon Wayans’ return to television gives fans not only laughs but also a glimpse into his life. “I play me—except instead of a comedian—I’m a social media influencer/YouTube sensation,” Marlon shared with SBH Editor-in-Chief Jocelyn Amador during a recent visit to Chicago. “I wanted to bring the cell phone to the TV because right now everybody does everything and watches everything on their cell phones. I wanted to make it an experience that was user friendly for both.” Here, the Fifty Shades of Black and Naked star gets social with us…

Sophisticate’s Black Hair: Did you do any research for your role as a social media star on “Marlon”?
Marlon Wayans: I live on my social media—@marlonwayans on Instagram, @MarlonWayans Twitter, @MarlonWayans Facebook fan page and lastly marlonlwayans on Snapchat. The only thing I really hadn’t been doing was YouTube. But, I actually started doing YouTube videos for this show. I started The Marlon Way on YouTube so with every episode, we drop a new YouTube video. And, we start every episode with me talking about my YouTube site [on the show]. So its pretty cool.

SBH: So in a way you’re breaking that line between the show and your character…
MW: Yeah. The closer I can be to me, the better I think for the show. The show’s name is, Marlon so I wanted to do something that was my voice, my spirit, my personality and that represented who I am.

SBH: Were you nervous about returning to TV again?
MW: No. I’m never nervous, I’m more excited. I think you’re nervous when you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re excited when you are ready to conquer something in a whole other capacity than you did the first time. I’m very familiar with sitcom, I’m very familiar with network…I’ve been in this [industry] 25 years and it’s funny because I still feel and look young but the reality of it is I’m seasoned; so, I was looking forward to going back to television so I can showcase where I am in life. I think the story is really strong, everything to me is the story and character and the jokes come last. But it’s a really funny show.

SBH: Do you like to surround yourself with people you’ve worked with before?
MW: Absolutely. I go to work with people I love so it always feels like family to me. I love Bresha Webb; I’ve been a fan of hers for a while—her and Essence Atkins are like my pretty sisters. It’s great to work with people that you love and they’re all on a mission to make people laugh. We’re all like-minded and like-spirited and just go hang out and read lines and create; it’s a beautiful thing.

SBH: Your look for the show, did you have to change your personal style much?
MW: I don’t just wash and go. I’m not privileged in that way. I have to wash, grease and go. I use pomade. I make sure I condition and wash it a couple times a week, if not once a day. To me, your hair and everything else is about what you eat, what kind of vitamins and supplements you have. Wayons [men], we could lose our hair early. [My brother] Shawn and I have been able to keep ours for a long time because I stock up on vitamins…I work out once a day for an hour a day and make sure my blood is flowing and getting to my hair.

SBH: How would you describe the style you’re wearing right now?
MW: It’s high and tight on the Fade with curls on the top. Sometimes I want to cut it down but I think it’s a good look for the character, a little signature [look]…I use Moroccan Oil products for the hair. Aveda is what I use on my skin, Dermalogica is what I use on my face. My mom says, “You smell so good! I wish you could teach your father to smell like that.” I guess my mom always said a woman likes it when a man smells good, not overly groomed, but I smell clean and I take care of myself.

SBH: Do you have a favorite barber?
MW: I have a few because I’m always traveling. I go to KG in Los Angeles, sometimes when he’s not available I go to one of my good friends, his name is Esau McGraw. He’s a really funny comedian who also happens to cut hair. I go to Steve The Barber when I’m in New York. And in North Carolina there’s a guy, Tone McGill, he does a really good Fade.

“Marlon” premieres tonight on NBC (9/8c)

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