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DID YOU READ

“John Carter” star Lynn Collins on becoming the Princess of Mars, getting sexual and more

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By Jennifer Vineyard

Lynn Collins, who plays the female lead in “John Carter,” thinks she might have gotten an overdose of testosterone working on the film. “I feel like maybe my mustache has gotten thicker,” she laughed while on the phone with IFC. “Maybe I have a few chin hairs to pluck.”

Since the cast also includes Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, and Dominic West, Collins said she was lucky she was a tomboy in order to match her male co-stars when it came to action-packed scenes. Since she grew up abroad — living in Singapore — from the age of four, Collins was able to travel to Japan every summer to study Shito-ryu karate in Okinawa. “I picked karate over pageants,” she said.

Collins’ fighting background helped make her character Dejah Thoris “powerful,” she said. “We didn’t want to do her like in the books,” she said, referring to the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels in which a 19th Century earthling travels to Mars and has a series of adventures on the red planet. These books, otherwise known as the Barsoom series, could yield a franchise series of films — as the first of the ten stories, “A Princess of Mars,” first published 100 years ago as a serial, forms the basis of John Carter. Dejah Thoris is the princess in question — and the inspiration for characters such as Princess Leia in Star Wars.

“We didn’t want her to be a damsel in distress, so we had a tricky thing figuring out how strong to make her,” Collins said. “I think the natural progression is over time to make her more maternal, more vulnerable, more sexual. I mean, at some points, she’s almost nude! So the guys will get what they want there. But she’s very different when we first start out. We needed to give her somewhere to go if we do more of the stories.”

Collins said that the filmmakers even had to dial back some of her character’s feistiness so it wouldn’t seem too over the top — “We had to take some punches out,” she said. “We had these punches in the middle of dialogue, where I would punch [Taylor], and now I don’t punch him quite so much.”

Dejah Thoris isn’t just a woman warrior, but also a scientist and a philosopher. “Sometimes before a scene, I would try to open myself up to the universe,” Collins said. “I would ask whatever higher force there is to let me be a channel for this role.” The actress said she also tried to get rid of all her own bad habits, such as smoking — “I wanted my shit cleared out” — so she could feel pure like Dejah. “This character is different for me,” she said. “It’s a huge responsibility, because she’s an archetype. She’s a powerful feminine force. The force of feminine good.”

Do you plan on checking out “John Carter”? Let us know in the comments below.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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