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Exclusive: John Hawkes on turning down “The Walking Dead” role: “It wasn’t right for me”

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It came as a bit of a surprise when the publicist for “Martha Marcy May Marlene” star John Hawkes quickly shot down any hope that the Oscar nominated actor would appear on “The Walking Dead.” News that the producers behind the show were trying to court Hawkes for the twisted role of Philip Blake, aka The Governor, had leaked, and fans were quickly glomming on to what seemed like pitch-perfect casting of “The Walking Dead” villain. The main problem? Hawkes didn’t agree that he was the right fit for the character.

IFC caught up with Hawkes at the Film Independent Spirit Awards red carpet and asked him if he’d heard of AMC’s interest or had any thoughts about it? Turns out he had, and he was the one to actively turn down the part.

“They were kind enough to show interest. It just felt like it wasn’t right for me,” Hawkes explained. “I think they’re going to find someone who will do a better job than I would have, and I think they’ll be happy in the end.”

And it seems as though AMC has. The network has announced today that British actor David Morrissey has landed The Governor role and will likely make his debut in early season three. In “The Walking Dead” comics, we meet the Governor at a small community called Woodbury where zombies and human prisoners are sometimes forced to face off in gladiator-style games. The Governor is the head honcho at the prison, and also has some of his own dark secrets.

We’re excited that Morrissey has the part, but it was Tom Savini, an actor best known for his roles in “Machete” and “From Dusk Till Dawn,” who was really vying for the role. Savini actively campaigned “Walking Dead” producer Greg Nicotero for the role of The Governor since it became clear that he would be a character on the show about a year ago.

“Every time I see the graphic novel, and I see a picture of The Governor, who looks just like me, I send Greg a picture. I just won’t give up,” Savini told MovieWeb. “Tell everyone to vote: Tom Savini for Governor on ‘The Walking Dead’!”

The main problem with that was that Nicotero had been trying to land Hawkes for the role instead of Savini. But even though Hawkes gave a big “no” as his answer, it wasn’t Savini’s time to shine. We’ll be seeing The Governor next season on “The Walking Dead,” and we’re excited to see what Morrissey will do with the part.

Are you disappointed Hawkes wasn’t interested in the role of The Governor? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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Ho Ho Ha

Xmas Miracles You’ll See At Joe’s Pub

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special Premieres December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It’s just so tempting to bah-humbug the holiday season. And while there’s much we can’t wait to put behind us, one thing left to look forward to with pure and wide-eyed joy is Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celebration in the true spirit of those splendid TV specials from the ’70s and ’80s, complete with special guests, musical numbers, awkward segues and an (intentionally) wafer-thin narrative through line.

As if you need more convincing, here are a few juicy nuggets to get excited for…

Tony Hale plying the captive audience with hot chocolate (and it working).

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Bridget Everett dressed like an ornament…

and in a state of nearly constant wardrobe malfunction.
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Matteo Lane hitting a crazy high note in a Snuggie.

Not a Slanket. There’s a meaningful difference.

Lisa Loeb creeping on Kurt Vile.

#hairlikeapony #whynotme
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Judah Friedlander getting replaced by a robot…

and it pretty much going as expected.
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Bottom line: the miracles abound. Grinches, Scrooges, and Tiny Tims alike will find their Holiday joy. And it’ll be awkward–in the most wonderful kind of way.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10p on IFC

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