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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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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…