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DID YOU READ

Ten actors and actresses to watch in 2012

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Actors like Michael Fassbender, Elizabeth Olsen and Melissa McCarthy went from being relative unknowns to some of the biggest stars of 2011 over the past year. While it’s hard to predict beforehand which new or second-string actors will click with audiences in a given year, that doesn’t stop us from trying. For instance, we wouldn’t have guessed that McCarthy would have been the breakout star from “Bridesmaids,” but Fassbender was a bit of a given thanks to his roles in blockbusters like “X-Men: First Class” and big name indies like “Shame.”

So we tried our hand at rounding up the 10 up-and-coming names that we think will be household names by the end of next year. Some you might already be familiar with and some might be new to you, but either way, they’re in for some of the biggest years of their careers.


1. Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield has been a familiar face around Hollywood since his debut in 2007’s “Boy A,” but 2012 is truly his year to shine. His only major film coming out is “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Sony’s reboot of the blockbuster superhero franchise. But it’s one of the most hotly anticipated films of the new year, and with the Spider-Man series riding on his small British shoulders, the role could make or break Garfield’s career. Judging by the knockout performances he’s had in the past few years in films like “The Social Network,” “Never Let Me Go” and Spike Jonze’s short “I’m Here,” we’re guessing Garfield’s star is only beginning to shine.


2. Jennifer Lawrence

With “The Hunger Games” shaping up to be the next “Twilight” or “Harry Potter”-like film phenomenon, it should come as no surprise that Jennifer Lawrence has earned a spot on this list. After her breakout in 2010 with the indie darling “Winter’s Bone,” Lawrence has gone on to land roles in everything from “Like Crazy” to “X-Men: First Class.” Lawrence plays leading lady Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” in 2012, and also stars in the horror film “House at the End of the Street” which is due in theaters in April. Our guess is she’ll become a household name along the lines of Kristen Stewart or Emma Watson before the year is done.


3. Jeremy Renner

Like many of the other actors on this list, Jeremy Renner is someone who got his big break in the past few years. For him, it was in the Oscar-winning 2009 drama “The Hurt Locker.” Since then, he’s had major roles in “The Town,” “Thor” and “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” but none of those films are as big as the ones he has coming out in 2012. First up there’s “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” a dark, adult take on the classic fairy tale that places him opposite Gemma Arterton. Then there’s “The Avengers,” which is arguably the biggest superhero movie of 2012 (depending on whether you’re a DC or Marvel fan). He’ll finish off the year by picking up the “Bourne” franchise from Matt Damon in “The Bourne Legacy.” That’s not to mention his smaller roles in “Ice Age: Continental Drift” and “Low Life,” both of which are still in development. Talk about a busy year.


4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Probably the biggest name on the list in many circles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt shined in last year’s “50/50” but 2012 is shaping up to be the “Third Rock From The Sun” star’s biggest year yet. Gordon-Levitt has four major films coming out that team him up with the likes of Christopher Nolan, Rian Johnson and Steven Spielberg. Despite his small role in “The Dark Knight Rises” (which could end up being bigger than it seems), the film we’re most excited for Gordon-Levitt to star in is Johnson’s latest, “Looper.” Still, it will be nice to see him in “Lincoln” under the direction of Spielberg, as well as to see him at work in the action thriller “Premium Rush.”


5. Idris Elba

Superhero movie fans became acquainted with Idris Elba best this year when he played Heimdall in Kenneth Branagh’s Marvel flick “Thor,” but he is an actor who’s been around in the industry for some time now (television enthusiasts will always hold a place in their hearts for Elba’s performance as Stringer Bell in “The Wire”). He has two major genre releases in 2012: “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” and “Prometheus.” We’ll admit that we’re a little biased—we’re more excited for his role in “Prometheus”—but Elba should soon be a force to be reckoned with. It only helps that Guillermo Del Toro has cast him in his upcoming monster flick “Pacific Rim,” due out in 2013.

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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