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Warwick Davis talks leprechauns, Johnny Depp, and his desire to “just keep working”


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You might not recognize the name the moment you see it, but rest assured that you know Warwick Davis. You’ve seen him in some of your favorite films without even realizing you’ve seen him. The veteran actor has played Wicket the Ewok in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” Willow himself in the beloved film of the same name, Professor Filius Flitwick in the “Harry Potter” series and, the evil Leprechaun in all six of the “Leprechaun” films. On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day (a Leprechaun’s favorite holiday, of course) and the Video on Demand release of the cult classic “Leprechaun” movies, Davis was kind enough to sit down with us to chat about Johnny Depp, the little green guy he can’t get enough of, and how “Life’s Too Short.”

IFC: You’ve done six “Leprechaun” films now. I’d say that’s a pretty successful franchise. Do you have a personal favorite from the series?

Warwick Davis: I think number one’s cool because it was the one that kind of started it all and at that point, you know, who knew we would go on to make six. It’s amazing. I’m particularly fond of three and four. I like the comedy element in them as I’m fond of comedy anyway. I like the character in those. He’s a horror character but that sense of fun that he has, those films really bring that out quite nicely. I’d say one, three, and four.

IFC: The films tend to swing back and forth between horror and comedy. Do you consider the series to be more horror or comedy based?

DAVIS: I always described them as horror-comedy, but it’s very hard to say whether they’re more horror or comedy. What’s great about it is that there’s that contrast you get then. The comedy scenes are actually funnier and the horror is probably more horrific because it’s more unexpected in a way. If you just did a horror tone throughout an entire movie you almost, as an audience, can get a little bit used to it. But if you’re laughing one minute and, you know, somebody’s doing something quite horrific the next minute, it’s a little more shocking.

IFC: The series definitely seems to lean a little heavier towards comedy in the last few films. They seem to be having a little more fun along with the audience. Do you feel like, as you grew into your character more and more, it became more fun for you as well?

DAVIS: When you do films that have multiple sequels, you develop a character for a film. It was ever so fun on the first one because it’s really about finding this character from the script. I was given quite a free reign on what I wanted to bring to the character. Creating the voice and everything else. When you then get to do that again in the sequel, you feel more comfortable in that skin. You kind of know the character and then you’re given this new script and this new arena to play in and it’s just more fun then because the foundation is very solid within you from the character. You have your backstory from the previous film and then you go on to do a third and a fourth, it becomes so much more comfortable and so much easier. You then can explore the character further. It kind of happened to me in “Harry Potter” as well in a similar way. You end up knowing the character so well that it becomes such a lovely job to just roll onto the set.

IFC: So, are you ready for more fun? Is there going to be another “Leprechaun” film?

DAVIS: Listen, I’d love to do another one. This is probably – apart from “is there going to be a ‘Willow 2’” – this is the next most popular question: “When are we going to see another Leprechaun film?” There’s so many kinds of rumors and ideas flying around about what it could be.

I mean, I personally pitched “Leprechaun 7” to Johnny Depp. I said, “Look, obviously “Pirates of the Caribbean” has dried up a bit for you now. Why don’t we reboot that and “Leprechaun” at the same time by combining the two franchises together so that you’re sailing around on your boat and you’ve stolen my gold, perhaps, and I come along to try and get it back. And the movie rolls around this struggle between you and me.” And he kind of looked at me a bit blankly. (Laughter). I think that’d be great, though, don’t you?

IFC: Was this on the set of “Life’s Too Short?”

DAVIS: Yeah, “Life’s Too Short.” And I did actually, sincerely that’s exactly how it went. I pitched him exactly that. I think it’s good. Obviously pirates love gold. Leprechauns love gold. It’s a match made in heaven and it should happen.

IFC: At this point in your career, you’ve played an Ewok, a Goblin, a talking mouse, a leprechaun, a professor, and now a fictionalized version of yourself. What’s left to do? What’s next for you?

DAVIS: I’ve always managed to fulfill a lot of my dreams in acting. I’ve always wanted to do comedy and then “Life’s Too Short” comes up, which is the ultimate kind of way to express that desire.

I just love working. I think it’s something that people say oh, they want to be famous, they want to be an actor, and I always say, “Why do you want to do that?” They want the money. They want the fame. But that’s not really the right reason to do it. You’ve got to love acting and that’s true for me. I love the idea of getting on stage and getting in front of a camera. Whatever it’s for.

So, I think I’d be grateful for the next job. I always am. And I always consider everything I do to be the last thing I do. I’m never disappointed and I’m always excited when the phone rings and someone else says “Would you come and have a go and do this for us? Play this character?” and what have you. I just want to keep working.

The original “Leprechaun” is now available in High Definition on Digital Download, Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View just in time for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The third and sixth installment in the series are also available.

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

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