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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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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