DID YOU READ

“The Avengers” cast offers insights into their superhero characters

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A new “The Avengers” trailer headed to the web today and an awesome new poster premiered yesterday, so it should come as no surprise that we’re sort of in the middle of “Avengers” mayhem right now. The flick won’t hit theaters until May 4, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll stop analyzing every word the cast says about the project in anticipation of its release.

Fortunately, Entertainment Weekly just offered us a lot of words. The magazine posted some snippets of their interviews with six of the movie’s main stars talking about their characters in “The Avengers.” No big surprises here, but plenty worth talking about.

Robert Downey Jr. discussed how he is trying to find balance between the Tony Stark that we all met and loved in the “Iron Man” movies and the one who is part of a team in “The Avengers.” He expressed his excitement that the project ended up coming together.

“‘Avengers’ has always been this kind of hovering [thing]. Is it really possible? I just think that it was an incredibly ambitious notion, and looking back at Marvel and their fledgling years, they always had a vision of this… although not entirely accurately,” he said with a laugh. “In one teaser I say, ‘I’m putting a team together,’ and in the other one I’m like, ‘What do you mean I can’t join the team?’ But aside from that, it kind of really tracks through.”

Mark Ruffalo then went on to tease the role Bruce Banner plays in the movie considering we haven’t seen him back since “The Incredible Hulk” days. “[Banner] starts like he’s sober in a weird way. He’s started a whole new life when we find him, and it’s cool,” Ruffalo said. That doesn’t last for long though.

“The rage is something that is like going on a binger — you wake up after a blackout and you did all this fucked up shit,” Ruffalo said. “Oh God, what did I do? And so we were talking about it like that, actually.”

Banner isn’t the only character to be shellshocked by his new surroundings. Captain America, who will be the central character in “The Avengers,” wakes up in the present after last being alive in World War II and doesn’t make the transition too well at first.

“Who does he have in the world? Nobody,” Chris Evans said. “Rogers is kind of defined by is his morals and values. In the ’40s there was much more of value on those things. Things are a little more impersonal these days. It just lends itself to his sense of isolation.”

Thor seems to have taken the adjustment in stride, though.

“There’s a maturity to the character because of the journey he went on, certainly. He was a petulant sort of kid at the beginning of ‘Thor,’ and by the end of it hopefully you walk away thinking that he is matured and there was a grounded quality to him that wasn’t there before,” Chris Hemsworth said. “He’s not quite the odd one out as much as he was in ‘Thor.’ These guys … one of them wears an iron suit, one of them turns into a big, green monster. They all have these crazy personalities, and alter egos. They’re misfits, and that’s how they fit, in a funny way.”

But what about the two non-superhero Avengers? Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson both opened up about how their human characters are set apart from the rest of the bunch.

“I’m on such the periphery,” Renner said. “By nature of being a sniper on top of a building, the behavior of a sniper is a loner. He gets a call and comes and does his thing.”

“The Widow has no time for romance. She’s a lover of all things. She has a love/hate relationship with I think everyone she meets in some way,” Johansson said. “Part of what makes her sexy is she takes no prisoners. You wouldn’t grab her for a big old bear hug.”

Are you excited for “The Avengers”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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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.
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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.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
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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.
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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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