DID YOU READ

“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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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