In their new movie White Chicks, brothers Shawn Wayans, 33, and Marlon Wayans, 31, play FBI agents who go undercover as Caucasian women to protect hotel heiress sisters. The pair, who also costarred in the Scary Movie films, spoke with PEOPLE correspondent Tom Cunneff about getting hit on by men, respecting Paris Hilton and keeping the peace in one of Hollywood’s most successful comedy clans.
What made you want to play white chicks?
MARLON: We were watching Legally Blonde and this idiot looks over at me and says, “Marlon, we should do that. We should play white girls.” I looked at him and I said, “Whatever you’re smoking, you’ve got to stop.”
SHAWN: Some Like It Hot was our blueprint. We called it Some Like It Not.
It’s hard work being beautiful, isn’t it?
SHAWN: It was torture. They would slick our hair down with horse glue and put these bald caps on. Then, to make us white, they sprayed us down with red paint and white paint like elephants getting a shower.
MARLON: And then we had to do makeup, manicure, pedicure, constantly keep a-waxing. We had 19-hour days.
What did you do to pass the time?
SHAWN: I listened to music like Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Barbra Streisand.
MARLON: Shawn’s like a 70-year-old white woman. I like real music, like Puffy, 50 Cent, Tupac, something with some meaning.
SHAWN: The makeup artists loved my selection of music.
MARLON: They had to; you’re the star.
What did being a white chick teach you?
SHAWN: I like being a black man.
MARLON: It’s a lot easier to be a black man than a white woman. I didn’t realize white women had to do five hours of makeup every day.
Ever get hit on in full makeup?
MARLON: Once, while on location at a hotel, I was at the bar and some guy was checking me out. He said, “Can I buy you something to drink?” I nodded yes, looked at the bartender and said [in his deep male voice], “Let me get a Budweiser, dawg.”
Is there a key to playing a white chick?
SHAWN: I don’t want to generalize, but the types we were playing were the shallow socialite girls.
Like Paris Hilton
SHAWN: It’s more the kind of girls that hang out with Paris Hilton, rather than Paris, who’s got her own thing crackin’.
MARLON: It’s the ones spending Dad’s money and don’t want to work for it.
You didn’t have a lot of money when you were growing up in New York City.
MARLON: If love were money, we would have been rich, but unfortunately it isn’t, so we were poor.
SHAWN: It wasn’t bad. It gave us strength and appreciation for what we got. I kind of want to build a fake project for my kids and stick them in there.
This is your fourth movie with your brother Keenen directing. Do you ever fight?
SHAWN: We’ve always got along from day one. Keenen is kind of like a father figure. He’s 13 years older than me and 14 years older than Marlon.
MARLON: Keenen’s been bullying us our whole lives. At least we get paid for it now.
SHAWN: We trust him, he trusts us. At the end of the day, we defer to him for the proper decisions, but we all bang heads and figure out what’s the best thing.
Are you ever going to work with your brother Damon again?
MARLON: We’re doing something right now. It’s called Behind the Smile. It’s a drama about a comedian. We start shooting July 7.
Are there any other Wayanses we should know about?
SHAWN: We’ve got some nephews, Craig and Damien. They’ve directed and written for Damon’s show [ABC’s My Wife and Kids].
MARLON: Damien just did a movie with Justin Timberlake called Edison. So we’re going to be here for a while. We’re like the black Rockefellers.
What do your parents think of your films?
SHAWN: They walked out on Scary Movie. It was the biggest movie of our career, so we hope they walk out on this one too.