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Will Ferrell and cast explain their new Spanish-language comedy “Casa de mi Padre”

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It’s probably no surprise that celebrated Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal was a little confused when he first saw the synopsis for “Casa de mi Padre,” a Spanish-language movie filmed in America and starring Will Ferrell as a Mexican rancher named Armando Alvarez.

“There was something I didn’t get at the beginning,” recalled Bernal. “I thought there was some mistake.”

Part homage to classic telenovela dramas and part parody of telenovelas and stylized spaghetti Westerns, “Casa de mi Padre” is a difficult film to lump into any specific category — and that’s the way Ferrell likes it.

“I love the fact that it raises that question: Why?” he laughed.

“Casa de mi Padre” is the brainchild of Ferrell and a pair of his former “SNL” cohorts, writer Andrew Steele and director Matt Piedmont, who makes his feature-length directorial debut with the new comedy.

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“It’s an idea I’ve had for the longest time,” Ferrell told IFC. “I heard someone was writing a telenovela script at one of studios, and I thought I should try to get this thing together. We went around town and found NALA Films, and they immediately got the idea, and got the financing. . . . We thought, let’s make this crazy little movie. If someone’s going to give us the money to do it, let’s do it.”

Once the decision had been made to do the film in Spanish, that meant the script would need to be translated — bizarre dialogue, awkward pauses, and all. According to Bernal, whose resume includes a number of critically praised Spanish-language dramas like “Y Tu Mamá También” and “The Motorcycle Diaries,” this was the initial cause of his confusion, as the Spanish dialogue in the script wasn’t anything like other films he’d worked on in the past.

“They said it was going to be in Spanish, but the translation I read in Spanish was terrible,” he laughed. “I didn’t understand it. Then, talking with the director and the writer, I kind of got an idea of what they wanted to do. Then we just started to play around and build this character.”

In the film, Bernal plays a powerful drug lord who has his sights set on the Alvarez family’s ranch, as well as Armando’s love interest, Sonia — a role played by yet another native Spanish-speaking actress, Genesis Rodriguez.

Asked what her initial reaction was to the description of the film and its star, Rodriguez said her first thought was simply “Epic.”

A veteran of telenovela dramas, Rodriguez was no stranger to the intentional over-acting and style of storytelling that serves as the inspiration for “Casa de mi Padre.”

“It’s an homage,” she said of the film. “It’s definitely an homage to Latin cinema and telenovelas. And it’s a beautiful mixture of both, so I think this is the biggest compliment they can pay to us. It was done and shot in the most tasteful way, and we know telenovelas better than anyone so we’re allowed to laugh at it. It’s our territory.”

So, with “Casa de mi Padre” hitting theaters soon, the next question vlearly becomes: what genre will Will Ferrell take on next? Asked whether he has any other regional genres in mind — like a Japanese horror film or a Swedish crime drama, perhaps — Ferrell offered up another possibility.

“Swedish crime drama, that could be good,” he laughed. “But I keep saying there are a billion Chinese people, so maybe I should learn Chinese. That could be a good market.”

“Casa de mi Padre” hits theaters March 16. Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

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.

via GIPHY

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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