DID YOU READ

Eric Ladin of AMC’s “The Killing” Brings The Thunder As Cole McGrath in “Infamous 2”

Eric Ladin of AMC’s “The Killing” Brings The Thunder As Cole McGrath in “Infamous 2” (photo)

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Eric Ladin’s got one of those ‘that guy’ faces that you know you know from somewhere, even if you can’t quite remember his name. Slightly boyish with a shock of blonde hair, Ladin became known to many as part of the cast of HBO’s “Generation Kill” series and later landed an even more high-profile part as William Hofstadt, brother to January Jones’ Betty Draper. The Texas-born actor can currently be seen as campaign manager Jamie Wright on AMC’s latest hit “The Killing”.

But Ladin’s latest role isn’t about his face. The 33-year-old takes over the role of electric superdude Cole McGrath–previously voiced by James Cottle–in the just-released “Infamous 2.” The PS3 exclusive sequel switched up production methods and moved from just voice recording to full performance capture. This time out, the combination of Ladin’s raspy voice and nuanced body language are what bring Cole to life in the game. Ladin took the time to answer a few questions about playing Cole, the zombie apocalypse and which of the game’s two superpowered women would win out with the lead of “Infamous 2.”

How’d you come to be involved in “Infamous 2”?
The initial meeting came through my agents. After an audition in which I read with some of the other actors in the project, as well as some physicality work, I went to Sucker Punch and met with the developers of the game and the entire “Infamous 2” team. There was a healthy amount of pre-production work, and then we got to shooting.

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Your portrayal of Cole comes after the work of another actor. Was there an impulse to maintain some kind of continuity and change your voice, or was the decision to make it your own from the get-go?
A happy medium of both. I, of course, had to honor the continuity of the character from the first game but, at the same time, this was going to be my take on Cole. That’s why they hired me.

You don’t sound as growly on “Mad Men” or on “Big Love”. What was the inspiration for your Cole voice?
It’s not just the voice; it’s the character, really. Cole comes from a different place; he has a different history. He has more grit to him than the other two characters.

Was your work on “Infamous 2” your first motion capture experience? What was the biggest adjustment when compared to on-camera performances?
No, I did one day on “L.A. Noire.” However, it wasn’t enough time to get completely comfortable with the process. It takes a while as you have to get used to acting naturally without props, wardrobe, sets and all the other luxuries we on-camera actors are used to.

What appeals to you about Cole? Are there certain qualities of his that you’d try to bring out in your performance?
I tried to bring out all of his qualities in my performance. The ones that appeal to me the most are vulnerability, humility, humor and most importantly likability.

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Out of the two female partners he meets in the game, who do you think Cole should end up with, Kuo or Nix?
Probably Kuo, as she is more level-headed and has more in common with Cole.

What’s your current video game obsession? What are your all-time favorites?
Well, I just played “Infamous 2” all the way through yesterday, so that was awesome. I am about to start “L.A. Noire,” and I think “Uncharted 2” is pretty fantastic. All-time favorites, hmm…I logged a lot of hours on “Contra” (if you forgot the cheat code, call me; I got you covered) and in the sports arena I loved “Tecmo Bowl” and “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.” Wow, those were some graphics huh?!

You played Ellis, one of the human survivors in “Left 4 Dead 2.” What’s the first thing you’d do in the event of a zombie apocalypse, like the one Ellis has to fight through?
Hit up a car dealership, hotwire a truck, take it to a groceries store and load up! Then, probably go find some guns.

Has the success of “The Killing” taken you by surprise at all? It’s so different than other police procedural-type shows, with the gloomy tone and slower pace.
Surprised? No. Thrilled? Yes! When I read the pilot, I knew it was special; it was different. I feel like there is plenty of audience out there for this type of show and I am just so excited that I am lucky enough to be a part of it.

Are there any similarities between Jamie, the character you play in “The Killing” and Cole McGrath?
They both have an extremely strong will to win; win at all costs. Neither like to lose, I think that is something I share with the both of them.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.