DID YOU READ

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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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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