Marlon Star Essence Atkins Talks New NBC Series, Dating & The Secret To StyleBy Delaina Dixon | August 16, 2017 | Entertainment
We’re certain you’ll be tuning in for the series premiere of Marlon tonight on NBC. The new comedy featuring Marlon Wayans as Marlon Wayne, a man recently divorced from Ashley, his former wife, played by Essence Atkins.
We caught up with the gorgeous and effervescent actress at an exclusive NBC cocktail party in New York City to get the scoop on her new role, her own dating life and her very smart philosophy on fashion.
Tell us in your own words what the show is about.
The show’s backdrop is divorce. Marlon and I are playing a newly divorced couple trying to figure how to co-parent, and maybe figure out how to keep him out of my house so much! We’re living and learning to love each other in a different context and paradigm – still working together for the betterment of our kids, and that’s something most people can relate to. A lot of people will be able to see this show and recognize themselves and recognize the situation. Hopefully we tell a story that’s about a family, but we tell it with love and humor.
And what’s Ashley’s goal in surviving this divorce?
She’s an interior designer trying to figure out the full throttle of everything. They’ve been together for 16 years, so now it’s “how do you date.” Our characters met in their early 20s, she’s about to turn 40, so it’s about how they process all this, with questions like, “I have a date – can you babysit?” It’s about figuring all that stuff out.
Are you tapping into any stories from your real life?
We shot our season finale, it’s a lot flashbacks of Marlon and Ashley’s first date — and it’s completely different perspective for each of them — but it fell in the week of the real anniversary of my first date with my ex-husband. So that was surreal and very weird.
You are recently divorced. Are you dating again?
Not really. It takes time and the landscape has changed so much. It’s been nearly 10 years for me since I’ve been single, and it’s just a different animal. When I met my ex-husband, there was this movement to mock me – who meets their spouse online? And now everyone’s got three or five dating apps on their phone. I’m not in rush. I still believe in love and marriage. I’m officiating my third ceremony. But I’m in no rush.
You look amazing! What’s your fitness secret?
I do run, it’s a great stress release for me singularly focus on stuff. The rest is moderation, at this age you have to recognize how much food is a big component in how you look and your water component. I’m a meat eater, I drink alcohol, but you can’t go crazy.
And your style tip?
I think fashion is about ease. I think a woman who is comfortable and feels beautiful, that resonates and it doesn’t really matter what she’s wearing. You can be wearing high end, or something from Marshalls, and if you feel gorgeous and beautiful, that translates.
Marlon series premiere airs Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
photo credit: Tyler Golden/NBC