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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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.
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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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