Marlon Wayans created the role of a lifetime when he created his new Netflix comedy Sextuplets. Actually, he created six roles of a lifetime. Wayans plays all six twins himself. So which six versions of Marlon Wayans are you going to meet in Sextuplets? Here’s a cheat sheet for the cast of the film, all played by one actor.
Michael Tiddes directed Sextuplets. Tiddes also directed Wayans’ A Haunted House films, Fifty Shades of Black, and Naked. He’s worked with Wayans since White Chicks and Little Man. Tiddes introduced us to the Sextuplets you’ll see Marlon Wayans play when the film premieres Friday, August 16 on Netflix.
Marlon Wayans is Alan in ‘Sextuplets’
Sextuplets begins with Alan, a regular guy about to have a baby with his wife Marie (Bresha Webb). Since Alan was adopted, he wants to find his biological family before he becomes a father himself. What he uncovers is he has not only a brother but five brothers. In most scenes featuring multiple siblings, Tiddes would begin with Alan to set the tone.
“Usually I would start with Allen, the straight man,” Tiddes said. “We would set kind of the pace of the scene. That would then allow gaps for the next day when he was Russell or Dawn to fill in those gaps with their dialogue.”
Marlon Wayans is Russell in ‘Sextuplets’
When Alan goes looking for his biological mother, he finds his brother Russell there. Russell is a couch potato obsessed with shows like The Rockford Files and Mork & Mindy, which he watches on VHS.
“I think Russell is really kind of the heart of this movie too,” Tiddes said. “I think he’s definitely empathetic to Russell. I think at the end of the day, Russell is always close to his heart. He’s the sweetest of all the characters real.”
Russell is heavy and balding so Wayans wore a full prosthetic as Russell.
“Originally the makeup pieces covered his eyebrows but we were both worried about would he be able to do all those expressions?” Tiddes said. “He originally had a whole headpiece. What we did was we cut the headpiece in half, flopped it backwards and what that did was created kind of a mound on the top of his head which gave him kind of an egg shape which I fell in love with. Suddenly Russell’s head became a little more node shaped which gave him this unique visual appearance.”
Marlon Wayans is Dawn in ‘Sextuplets’
Not all of the sextuplets are brothers. Dawn is all woman, and when Wayans put on the Dawn costume, he really stayed in character.
“When I was giving direction to him as Dawn, he would literally clap back at me as Dawn,” Tiddes said. “It was pretty funny. I think it definitely helped to keep some of the attitude.”
When Dawn and Alan were in a scene together, Wayans would sometimes have to step out of Alan’s character to figure out what Dawn would be doing in the same scene.
“So it was important at the beginning sometimes, even though he might not be Dawn, to have him transform into Dawn even though he was Alan and just get her walk,” Tiddes said. “Like how is she going to walk in. I need to feel what the timing is going to be like? Show the body double that timing and play Alan again, but get that body double to do the timing so that we can get the camera moves down.”
Marlon Wayans is Jasper in ‘Sextuplets’
Since all of the sextuplets were separated, they make a strong case for nurture over nature. Jasper is a more sinister sextuplet, but he’s still funny.
“Originally Jasper was supposed to be a very muscular and kind of intimidating visual character,” Tiddes said. “We talked about villains, how that’s kind of so on the nose. Some of our favorite villains have always been the one that you didn’t expect, those James Bond type of villains.”
Jasper is another full transformation for Wayans, but not into a tough guy.
“From that, we went away from the muscular bodysuit that we were going to put him in and played him to be less visually scary but reveal him as a mentally crazy person which we always thought was a better way for a villain,” Tiddes said.
Marlon Wayans is also Ethan and Baby Pete in ‘Sextuplets’
Ethan looks the most like Alan so he is able to impersonate Alan. If his hustler way of speaking weren’t a dead giveaway, you’d notice the gold tooth he flaunts. If he’s really trying to impersonate Alan, maybe don’t bear those flashy teeth.
Then there’s the ailing Baby Pete whom Alan finds in the hospital. Don’t let Baby Pete’s helpless appearance fool you. Baby Pete is sneaky.
Marlon Wayans might have a 7th character in ‘Sextuplets’
You might not have to wait for a sequel to get to see septuplets. Tiddes and Wayans may have a surprise for you in Sextuplets.
“When people watch the movie, they might be surprised,” Tiddes said. Maybe he’s playing six. Maybe he’s playing seven. There could be a little surprise at the end of the movie.”