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Marlon Wayans scares up gags of the ‘Paranormal’ kind

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Updated: February 7, 2013 6:21AM

As Marlon Wayans grew up on the streets of New York City, his life could have taken another route.

“I grew up in the ’hood, which I don’t look at as a place,” says the member of the famous Wayans comedy family. “It’s all about energy.

“You can use your energy to join gangs and shoot people or you can use your energy to educate yourself and learn something crazy like filmmaking and comedy.”

Wayans went the second route.

Now 40, he wrote and stars in “A Haunted House” (opening Friday) as an upwardly mobile young man who asks his girlfriend (Essence Atkins) to move in. Things to go bump in the night and not-so-friendly ghosts start to visit. He turns to a priest, a psychic and a ghost hunter to help.

1 Tell us about “A Haunted House.”

It’s a horror comedy, but the first of its kind. It’s kind of weird because it’s funny but shot like “Blair Witch.” ... I got the idea when watching “Paranormal Activity 2.” At the time, I was trying to find a way to do a low-budget comedy. I was watching “Paranormal 2” and started thinking, “What if this happened to a black couple?”

2 You have a sex scene with the ghost in this movie. Explain your technique for human-poltergeist love.

It was just me by myself imagining things. The moves I made were actually disturbing and hilarious when I looked at the playback. It looked as if I had no choice in the matter. I just worry that if one day I win an Oscar that, during that moment when they do a film montage of me, they will play my ghost sex scene. Or when I die someday the networks will probably just show one clip: ghost sex. I’m sure they will play it back in slow motion. This keeps me up at night.

3 This film also explores what happens when women move in with men. What do live-in women do to drive you nuts?

You have to layer comedy with truth. Personally, I don’t want to live with anybody and I’ve had long-term relationships. It’s about keeping it fresh. So guys, don’t live with the girls. I don’t want to know when my woman is using the bathroom. We hate it when you ladies go out all dressed up with your makeup right then you come home to live with us and you wash it all off and put on bummy sweatpants. Don’t come to bed with all that cream on. Leave the makeup on! I repeat, leave it on! Guys are visual!

4 Have you ever had a ghostly encounter in real life?

I’ve never seen anything strange. I do want to see a ghost, mostly to know that there is life after death.

5 How did you avoid joining a gang?

You make choices in life. When you get up in the morning ask yourself: Am I going to rob someone today? Stab people? Run from the cops? You can do that and face various consequences. Or you can use your passions to work hard and believe in your dream. I decided to put my focus into something good. I always tell kids that if you put your energy into something bad then you will get the bad dream ending. Do you want your life to be the bad dream ending or the good dream ending? Do you want the Rolls-Royce? Or do you want to wind up in jail or wind up dead? Those are the questions for kids in the streets. By the way, you can get the Rolls in a legit way and enjoy the journey. If I can do it, you can too.

Big Picture News Inc.

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