Kim Wayans is ready to stun audiences in the new movie Pariah.
A story about a Brooklyn teenager who is leading a double life as a lesbian, Kim plays the mother of a girl who risks friendship, heartbreak and family in a desperate search for sexual freedom.
Kim does a stellar job in the film, her role reminding us of Monique’s in Precious, another female comedian who made the leap into dramatic acting.
We had the chance to sit down with Kim Wayans in the posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC for an intimate interview. Check it out below!
GlobalGrind: This movie is not what we’re used to from you. How was it to play a dramatic role?
Kim Wayans: It was wonderful. I’ve been trying to get dramatic work for awhile now because I know that it’s in me and I know that it’s something that I can do. But you know how it is in Hollywood. They put you in little boxes. [I'm] a wacky comedian so I can’t even get in the room to audition. I got really lucky with this project because my agent knew the casting director. So she talked to her and said, ‘You gotta give her a chance. You gotta at least see what she can do.’ So they let me read.
Once you got the role, how was it seeing yourself in something dramatic as opposed to comedic?
It’s hard! With my comedy I can watch myself and pee on myself laughing. I am my own biggest fan! It’s really hard to watch yourself in a drama.
Did you find yourself not liking your character when you watched the movie?
No. I found myself having tremendous compassion for my character. I liked a lot of her actions, but I felt her pain. I felt her heart and where she was coming from. I didn’t hate her. I didn’t see her as a villain, I saw her as a desperate mother who thinks she’s doing what’s right for her child.
You must have gotten a lot of comparisons to Monique in this role. How are you dealing with those comparisons?
A couple of people have mentioned that. I take it as a compliment. Monique threw down, she was amazing in Precious! I’m happy to be mentioned in the same sentence.
Do you think that this being a touchy subject for a lot of people, it will get the recognition it deserves?
I hope so! With recognition comes the audience. You have to bring attention to the film in order to get the audience to come. Ultimately, the people who come see the movie and are moved by it and want to do something about a situation because of the movie, is what it’s really all about.
This deals a lot with family. Did you pull anything from your family experiences growing up?
Not really, because this woman is so different. I created her based on the text and what I was given in the script about who this woman was and how she sees the world. It wasn’t a situation where I thought she was just like anyone. It wasn’t like that at all.
In your personal life, if you suspected a man was cheating on you, how do you think you would react?
If I suspected, I think I would have a conversation. I wouldn’t just keep it to myself and be all Secret Sam about it. I would sit the person down and have a conversation with them. It’s hard to say what you would do in that situation. It’s easy to say you would go out and pack your bags and be out of the house, but it’s not a situation I would put up with.
The cause of Heavy D’s death came out yesterday. As we know, he was in the theme song to In Living Color for so many years. How was hearing that news?
It was devastating. It was so shocking, first of all. It was just out of nowhere, and made me real sad. He was a sweet person. Some people are just good people who have good energy and something positive to say, and that’s what he was.
His last tweet even said something like, ‘Think positive.’
Yeah! If you look at all his tweets, they’re all encouraging about being positive. It’s so sad. We just have to think about how he’s with God and that he’s OK.
There are also reports that they are bringing back In Living Color.
They’re going to do two specials. I guess based on whether the specials are successful, they’ll launch a new series of In Living Color.
Will you be a part of the specials?
No, I doubt it. I think Keenan is going to get a new cast. Some members are in a walker by now! But, if he asks us to do a guest appearance, or a cameo or something at some point, I would be more than happy to comply.
Pariah is in select theaters now!