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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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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

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

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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