Marcos Taylor’s star is on the rise, having portrayed Suge Knight in the hit film, Straight Outta Compton, and now playing the lead in Michael Baumgarten’s latest film, Paying Mr. McGetty. I recently talked to Taylor about these roles, as well as working with Edgar Wright and his plans for the future.
You started out as a stunt man but kind of segued into acting. Was that always the plan or did you kind of fall into acting?
The plan was to do action acting or stunt acting or be a feature in action, as that’s what I’m really good at. You know when people say you got to do this and that; I’m kind of like, “I’m going to do what I want” in the sense of my job and what I love to do. You only live once. I knew the quickest way to get in was through stunts based on my martial arts and athletic background. I would get in as an extra, but I can’t really blend in. *laughs*
There is a lot of comedy in “Paying Mr. McGetty.” Was that something you were comfortable with or did you have to adjust to the comedy?
No, I’m actually kind of goofy. This is my first good guy role. Usually I’m a killer producer or bad guy scaring people, but I’m actually kind of goofy. Michal Baumgarten, the director, let me adlib and I just went with the flow. I had really great people to work off of like Don “The Dragon” Wilson, who was just awesome!
Was that the first time you got to work with Don?
Second time. The first time was “The Martial Arts Kid.” That was a dream come true; a mission accomplished. I would say that was the best time of my life! People would ask, “Not the other stuff?” Nope! Working with [Don Wilson] and James Lew and being in the presence of Cynthia Rothrock and all of these legends was beautiful!
Were you nervous at all in portraying Tyrell as he was the lead in the film or were you excited for that?
I was excited! I thought I was going to show my athleticism, but I tore my ACL and Meniscus. In a way, that kind of made the film better!
I agree. I like how it made everything coming at Tyrell instead of him running towards it. That fit his character.
Exactly! If they see me, two-hundred pounds and doing backflips and parkour, [the characters] would be like, “His athleticism is ridiculous!”
Do you ever think you’re going to work with Michael Baumgarten and Don Wilson again?
That would be awesome! Hopefully! If it works, just keep doing it and get better with it!
You are trained in a lot of martial arts. Do you have any favorite kind of style?
Whatever works. People ask me that every day and that’s my response: whatever works. *laughs*
You got to play Suge Knight in “Straight Outta Compton” & “Surviving Compton.” Were there nerves in portraying such a prominent figure?
The first time: a little, but only because it was my first big role. I felt bad because I had to be in method. That was the thing I was nervous about: people thinking this was really me. I was told to do method and I did what they wanted me to do. It helped a lot. I was only supposed to be there for ten days, but my performance was like, “Woah!” So, they wrote me in for all through the film. That was like a blessing! It was kind of crazy. People were like, “I hate you” and “I’m scared of you” and I’m thinking, “Oh, gosh!” *laughs* I guess I did my job. It worked out and I’m blessed to have been in that cast and to work with F. Gary Gray. As far as being nervous, it was just the people’s response to me being [Suge Knight] on set. But, once we cut, I went back to being me. That whole time, no, I wasn’t nervous.
You have the nickname of Kick You in the Head. That’s rather self-explanatory, but I am curious when, how, and who gave you that nickname?
It was my comeback fights. It was 2009 that somebody gave me that name. A lot of my kicks were knockouts when I fought amateur and professional. People were like, “This dude is always kicking people in the head!” So, it just stuck. That’s a niche; it works. They still call me that and I’m happy to be called that.
What’s next for you now that you’ve finished up with “Paying Mr. McGetty?”
I did a series pilot called “Up North” and that should be out next year. I also did a film with Kevin Spacey & Jamie Foxx called “Baby Driver.”
That’s directed by Edgar Wright, correct?
Yes. I love him! The dude is cool, man!
How was it like working with him?
Fun! It was very fun! He was like, “You’re awesome, mate! You’re just filled with positivity!” It was a good time!
I know that, when you were young, you said you wanted to be Superman when you grew up. Have you ever thought of auditioning for the role or at least to be in a Superman movie?
Not yet, but I’d definitely love to be Bane! I have the physicality, so it’d be cool to do that!
Hopefully you wouldn’t have to play it method, right?
Yeah, but sometimes it’s not needed.
Do you have any advice for aspiring actors, stuntmen, or martial artists?
You only have one life. When people tell you to do this and that, you need to know what’s good for you. You can’t do what everybody else wants if it’s not good for you. A lot of times when people went right, I went left. Be positive, have faith in yourself, and just have faith period. Just move forward and find ways of getting in the door. Don’t let anybody discourage you. No means go until you find yes!
Paying Mr. McGetty will be released in 2017. Keep your eyes peeled for it!