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‘I’m In My Bag’: Marlon Wayans Says There’s No Stopping Him as He Pursues ‘Leading Man’ Status  

Marlon Wayans is taking his career to new heights as he brings the laughter and the drama.

The industry veteran has a decades-long résumé of work showcasing his ability to tackle producing, writing, stand-up, and acting, although when it comes to the latter most fans have just recently discovered Wayans can do more than provide laughs onscreen. 

Marlon Wayans. (Photo: @marlonwayans/Instagram)

With his successful portrayal of Aretha Franklin’s first husband, Ted White, in the film “Aretha,” and Will Smith’s father on “Bel-Air,” the actor has fans clamoring to see him do a deep dive into the realm of dramatic acting.  

“I’m 30 years in the game professionally and I get to show different looks to different sides of my ability,” Wayans recently said to Essence when talking about his expanding world of acting. Like his talent, Wayans said delving into more dramatic roles isn’t a fluke: It’s literally what he has been preparing for throughout his career. 

“My career right now, I’m really looking forward to doing more drama, really looking to bite into being a leading man. I’m ready,” he said. 

Wayans, 49, was ushered into Hollywood under the successful careers of his older brothers Keenan and Damon, but he’s made it a point to create his own lane. With more than 20 films under his belt, the “Scary Movie” co-creator is finally hitting his stride where the full range of his skills have opened the floodgates to a gamut of diverse projects.

“You get to this place where you get in your bag. I’m in my bag as a producer, bag as an actor, bag in my comedy game,” he said. “These are my years. I’ve been working so hard for 30 years and now it’s all clicking. I love the fact that I get to show up as the star that I’m prepared to be.”

Wayans is also using his star power to highlight other up-and-coming comedians. With his latest project, “Marlon Wayans Presents The Headliners,” he is warming up the stage for comedians Tony Baker, D.C. Ervin, Chaunte Wayans, Sydney Castillo and Esau McGraw. The hour-long special is streaming on HBO Max.

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