“The Hunger Games” stars share their excitement for the film at the premiere


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It’s hard to tell who is more excited for “The Hunger Games” to come out: the fans or the film’s stars. The release is only days away, but it feels like we have been waiting years for Suzanne Collins’ beloved book to finally hit the big screen.

IFC was at the film’s black and gold carpet premiere and caught up with a bunch of the movie’s stars. Needless to say, they were all pretty thrilled and taken aback by how hyped the carpet experience was.

“When they flew me in a couple days ago, I wasn’t expecting it to be such a massive [event],” said Toby Jones, who plays Hunger Games announcer Claudius Templesmith. “It’s insane.”

Nelson Ascienco, who plays Katniss’s stylist Flavius in the film, said he still couldn’t believe how wonderful the whole experience making the film was.

“I’m pinching myself. It’s just great to be with all those people,” he said. “Everyone on the crew was amazing. The crew, the costumers, the hair stylists and, it goes without saying, the cast. Amazing, stellar actors and just really humble, sweet people.”

Though not all of the cast members survive “The Hunger Games,” those that do can look forward to plenty more time spent bonding with their costars in future films. Willow Shields, who plays Katniss’s younger sister Prim, said she and Jennifer Lawrence became close while shooting their scenes.

“We were just sisters on set,” she said. “It was just so much fun.”

For Jones, taking the role of Claudius Templesmith was an easy “yes.” “[Director] Gary [Ross] offered me the job and then he sent me the book and I read the book very quickly, it’s a very easy book to read,” the “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” star said. “Then my kids read it and they were just kind of blown away by it.

Jacqueline Emerson, who plays the clever District 5 tribute Foxface, said that she was always intrigued by the way the children forced to fight in the Hunger Games maintained their humanity throughout it. With the exception of the few Careers who were trained their whole lives to fight in the Hunger Games, the tributes often just try to survive until the end of the competition instead of going on the offensive to kill as many of their opponents as possible.

“I think it’s all about how they maintain their humanity in a world where there isn’t a lot. There’s a lot of desensitization. But I think once you’re in the Games and you realize you actually have to take another human life … it sticks with you,” she said. “I mean, despite the fact that society kind of brings them up in this world where it’s okay, there are some characters in it who are able to maintain the fact that it’s not and stay true to their heart.

The male District 11 tribute Thresh is a good example of what Emerson was talking about. He manages to stay hidden for a large portion of the Games, only emerging towards the end of them to make a pivotal decision.

“Thresh’s strategy in the Hunger Games is not to seek out blood, you know? He’s not an evil character. He just wants to survive. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Games,” said Dayo Okeniyi, who plays Thresh in the film. “He’s forced into conflicts. He doesn’t go into it, and I think that he’s a character that has a very pivotal moment where he has to make a decision, and I think that decision really defines the character.”

So just what was Thresh up to all that time he was absent? “He’s just making some barbeque,” Okeniyi joked. “He’s got a pig on a spit.”

Directed by Gary Ross, “The Hunger Games” also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland. It hits theaters on March 23.

Are you as excited to see “The Hunger Games” as the stars are? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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