DID YOU READ

Jon Hamm gushes over “Friends With Kids” and “Bridesmaids” costar Kristen Wiig

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Before “Bridesmaids,” there was “Friends With Kids.” Though the film is only coming out this Friday, the project that Jennifer Westfeldt wrote, directed and starred in was finished long before stars Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd reunited in “Bridesmaids.” But that’s not where the parallels between the two films end.

In both films, Hamm and Wiig play sex-happy, ill-fated partners dealing with the changes in their relationship as they grow older. And, though Hamm is less of an ass in “Friends With Kids” than he is in “Bridesmaids,” he comes out looking like the bad guy to a certain extent in both of the movies. It becomes clear while watching the and Wiig act opposite one another that the ability to portray that kind of descent into the bad parts of a relationship onscreen comes from a close friendship offscreen.

IFC had the chance to catch up with Hamm while he was promoting “Friends With Kids” and talk about his working association with Wiig. When the two previously mentioned ill-fated onscreen relationships were mentioned to Hamm, he burst out laughing. “Yeah, I love that one,” he said, meaning Wiig. “She’s a good girl, and so much fun to be opposite. But sometimes when things don’t work out is more fun.”

Though it seems as though the two actors have known one another for ages, it turns out that they only got to know each other after Hamm hosted “Saturday Night Live” back in 2008. Though Hamm admitted he and Wiig might have met before through mutual friends like Paul Rudd, it wasn’t until the “Man Men” star’s first “SNL” gig that the two of them really hit it off.

“We just clicked together on the first time I hosted, and we did a bunch of sketches together and then as I came back and hosted the show a couple more times, I don’t know, for whatever reason our energies just kind of flowed in the right way,” he said. “She’s so goddamn talented and it’s always fun to be in a scene with her, so when she asked me to do ‘Bridesmaids,’ I was like, ‘I will do whatever you want.'”

It was their rapport onscreen that convinced Hamm that Wiig was the right person to play his wife Missy in “Friends With Kids.” She tends to play outrageous characters in films and on “Saturday Night Live” that border on caricatures, so Hamm felt it was about time for her to act in a story that felt “real.”

“Not to say that she doesn’t do that, but just sad and a little more downbeat than she’s done,” he explained. “So when we cast her in this film, we were like, ‘I know you can do this. You’re going to be great.'”

And she is great in “Friends With Kids.” In one scene around a dinner table in the film, Wiig breaks down in a way that fans have never really had a chance to see before. But Wiig has obviously had the opportunity to show off her more serious side in films like “Extract,” “Whip It!” and, of course, in “Bridesmaids.”

Hamm couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful he thought Wiig’s performance and writing were in “Bridesmaids.” Her friend and onscreen costar gushed about how that performance is very similar in tone to the one she pulls off in “Friends With Kids.”

“I think that her work in ‘Bridesmaids’ was so fantastic and real and sad. As heightened and crazy as some of the scenes are in there, for me the most effective parts of that film and I think the reason why it really, really resonated with a larger audience was the fact that it was a story about a girl and a friendship with another girl,” he said. “The scene at the end when Kristen goes and finds Maya and they have that really heart-breaking talk about just, ‘I’m going to miss you and I love you,’ that stuff was the real kind of emotional core that the film was built on and she knocked it out of the park.”

And don’t expect their collaborations to stop anytime soon. Hamm just returned to “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend and it likely won’t be his last surprise appearance on the show.

“It was fun. It was really nice,” he said. “I was surprised that they asked, but very happy and it was great to see all those guys again and it was a fun show.”

Are you a fan of Hamm and Wiig’s work together? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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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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