Why G.I. Joe's Marlon Wayans isn't kidding around this time

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Marlon Wayans, who plays Ripcord in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, told reporters that he's playing a legitimate action hero this time around, no kidding. That means that he may crack wise, but he's not clowning his way through the action.

"It's all about being credible," Wayans said in a group interview on Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif. after a press conference for Dance Flick. "For me, I would love people to be able to cross genres and do it in a way where your audience believes you and you're appropriate."

Wayans added: "For G.I. Joe it was all about me being appropriate and just being mature about my decisions of when to be funny and when not to be. It's always a challenge. They may try and put you inside of a little box, but I know that, talent-wise, I look at my filmography and I'm able to do a lot. I've played a junkie in Requiem [for a Dream], a white woman in White Chicks. I played a little person in Little Man. I played a weedhead in Scary Movie. Now I get to finally play a hero, and I get to play a hero with some humor."

And Wayans wasn't just pretending to play action hero: He did many of his own stunts, which felt pretty real, he said. "Yeah, I did actually most of it, unfortunately," he said. "It was scary as hell hanging from a 20-story building."

Coming from smaller-budgeted comedies, Wayans found the set of Joe an eye-opener. "Oh, it's a $200 million movie, 190 or something crazy like that," he said. "For me it was like, 'Wow.' Just checking out what kind of craft service they had was something special. The makeup trailer was as big as my house. It was a whole 'nother different production. But I've got to say that most of it, and the value, is on the screen. When you see the stuff from the movie, every piece of material I saw on it blows me away. I'm just going, 'Wow, I'm in that.'"

Still, Wayans promises he gives the same quality performance as he did in the $19 million-budgeted Scary Movie. "No, it doesn't change the work," he said. "It makes you work harder, because you know you have this huge budget on your head, and it makes everybody more on point and nobody slacks, but you get really cool costumes, you get incredible gadgets, and you get stuff that you ain't gonna get for $19 million. I can't see them making the kind of aircraft that they made for G.I. Joe for $19 million."

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra opens Aug. 7.