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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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

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IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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